Thursday, April 14, 2011

Part Two: Thoughts about giving former President Ferdinand Marcos a heroes burial

"EDSA 1986 was the Triumph of Opportunism"

The real story of the EDSA 1986 Uprising could probably be retold differently and using less miraculous references.

Perhaps, one version that could be told would go along the classical lines that one can see played out in teledramas.

Imagine a rich man who founded an immense empire slowly succumbing to a disease.  His family knows about  his imminent death and lays down a plan of succession and a means to retain control over the empire's immense wealth.  However, the bright and ambitious kinsmen of the rich man also lay out their own designs to seize control over the empire and hatch a plot.

Knowing that the people within the empire had long been chaffing under the strong arm rule of the rich man, the kinsmen hatch a plot that would rouse the people to revolt.  They realized that the people, despite their complaints and protests, were all but too easy to placate and pacify.  However, they also realized that while the intellectual seeds of revolt were marginally effective, an emotional trigger would be even more effective but it needed to be one which could be sustained.

At some point, the kinsmen told the rich man and his family that in order to ensure that their succession plan would succeed, they'd have to eliminate those who could oppose it.  The kinsmen identified a long exiled distant relative of the rich man and a ruse was set that would lead to his assassination.  Knowing the bonds between the rich man and the exiled relative, they implemented the plot on the sly.

The plot hatched by the kinsmen was simple enough: Have the distant relative martyred in front of everyone at high noon and the nation would be seized by grief and that grief could be fomented into a deep, seething anger.

And it worked... The people started rallying behind the family of the rich man's martyred relative.

Sensing that the rich man's disease was keeping him from keeping a tight reign and fast losing control of the empire, other kinsmen within the empire quickly positioned themselves to take advantage of whatever change in power that would happen.  They secretly curried favor with those whom they thought would emerge as winners and leaders should the rich man die or get ousted, while keeping within the good graces of the rich man's family.

At some point, in order to prove his ability to continue leading the empire, the rich man was compelled to hold an election.  But despite the results of the election, the people were convinced that the results had been rigged and this set up the basis for the uprising that would unseat the rich man.

It was easy to convince hundreds of thousands to mass together over what everyone now recognized rather oddly as a shared grief.  Because, before the rich man's relative's martyrdom, most people neither knew or cared much about him.  Some even thought it was hypocritical of the rich man's relative to upbraid him for ill-gotten wealth when in fact his own wealth was founded on his clan's highly irregular acquisition of vast tracts of land.

Anyway, when the circumstances were right, the rich man's kins men staged a revolt and people rallied around them.  In a few days, the rich man was forced to flee his empire and seek safety.

Now, at this point, you may ask... What does the story of EDSA 1986 have to do with the Marcos burial?

(To be continued....)

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