Ours is really a world of surprises and, in many instances, these surprises are broadcast on Youtube. Teddy Locsin Jr., who served as press secretary during the presidency of the late Corazon Aquino, recently dished out a powerful defense for Ferdinand Marcos, so powerful that not even Imelda or her kids could possibly outdo it. It was originally aired, Nov. 3, in Teditorial, a segment in ANC’s The World Tonight.
I had the chance to talk to Teddy Boy some years ago when I was invited to guest at Studio 23’s Points of View where he was one of the hosts. The episode was about Filipino pride, and I was there because of my well-circulated essay, “Who wants to be a Filipino?” I was glad that Teddy Boy and two other hosts—Cher Calvin, now a multi-awarded TV personality in the US, and Mo Twister—were so gracious. Their forth member, Jessica Zafra, exerted no effort to hide how irritated she was with my views. During commercial breaks, we would casually talk about current issues.
Day before that taping at ABS-CBN, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivered her infamous “Bangkang Papel” Sona where she presented kids from Payatas who sent their wishes to Malacañang through paper boats afloat the Pasig River. I told Teddy Boy that the speech was hard sell and smacked of cheap propaganda. With a boyish smile, he replied, “I helped draft that speech.” He said he understands that people would perceive the Sona that way, but added that the “banking papel” story was true. You would think, dear karikna, that my dark skin could not turn red, but I really blushed at that time. How could I have criticized my idol Teddy Locsin’s work and right in his face?
I am a big fan of Teddy Boy. First because of his insights that are incisive, bordering on the uncanny, and, second, because of his crisp English which is a treat to the ears. There are only a few orators I look up to, and Teddy, Ninoy, and Makoy are among them.
I am surprised though that Teddy Boy’s discourse on the former president has not gone viral. After a week in the web, it has only around four thousand hits. Well, not really that bad because the former Makati congressman’s videos has viewers averaging only at around 500. One could not even find a transcript of the video in the Internet so I had to transcribe the material myself.
And here it goes:
“Malacañang just won’t live well enough alone. It had to answer the young Marcos on the issue of his father’s state honors as a former president. Why not let the Marcoses speak their piece. Malacanang has said enough that it is still wiping off its face. Now Malacanang says that before the funeral honors requested by his children, the father must first say he is sorry.
“Sorry for what, declaring martial law? But that was constitutional, according to the Supreme Court. Cancelling democracy? That was done to effect reforms that the landlord-dominated Congress kept blocking, such as agrarian reform. Cancelling the elections? Noynoy just did that to effect political reforms in ARMM. Changing the constitution? We were about to do it with an elected convention of delegates for sale whose only independent initiative was the unconstitutional proposal to disqualify the wife of the sitting president from seeking election for his place, an inalienable right that no constitution can deny. Getting an authoritarian constitution pass around with fried chicken and pancit? Well, we still do that in every election. Rigging elections? Marcos never did that. He won the presidency two times fair and square and by landslides. Under martial law, he never paid for a vote that he could get by fear. Stealing in public office? Please, post-Edsa presidents make him an amateur by comparison.
“Pray then, for what must Marcos apologize? The many extrajudicial murders during Martial law? But there have been many more murders since. And, pray tell, shall a dead man apologize? Death erases crime, which hasn’t even been proved in this case. The Supreme Court validated everything he did, and the people ratified all his acts repeatedly, including the assassination of Ninoy Aquino by returning two thirds of the Batasan to Marcos.
“Do we now visit the sins of the father on the children and smear the blood on his hands on their faces? They are Ilocanos, not Jews. By what principle of law or notion of decency do we demand an apology from a dead man we dared not call to account when he lived?
“And, finally, are we demanding the unnatural act of having children denounce their father to assuage their grief? What is this, Greek tragedy? And what are we, communists? If we cannot have intelligence in government, let us at least have good taste.”
And what can one say, dear karikna, after a Teditorial like that? One just has to say, and with full conviction: Amen and amen.