Martial Law and the ‘influencers’

We should go beyond criticisms against Toni Gonzaga for giving former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a platform for his effort to revise history, particularly the dark moment of Martial Law which his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Sr., imposed on Filipinos.

Not because we are her fans (we are not). Nor because she had also interviewed Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Manny Pacquiao etc.

But because she, like you and me, also has a right to her own opinion, her own biases, and her own prejudices.

Because she, like you and me, also has the right to use whatever is at her disposal to get her message across. To not be neutral. To not be neutered.

Of course, it does not mean that we agree with her leanings. In the same way that we do not expect you, or her, to agree with ours.

Nevertheless, we are concerned that she has given a platform to someone whose version of history is the complete opposite of the facts as established by historians, the Supreme Court, and by ordinary Filipinos.

We all know the numbers in the aftermath of Martial Law. Historians believe that the Marcos dictatorship was marked by 3,257 known extrajudicial killings, 35,000 documented tortures, 77 “disappeared”, and 70,000 incarcerations.

Then again, while she endorses a myriad of products, is she someone whose political leanings and opinions carry weight?

But then, many of our countrymen do not see the difference between an artista peddling shampoo, and the same artista endorsing a politician.

This is where the problem is. And where the solution lies: the necessity for voter’s education and citizens’ capacity building. For all of us, including the artistas. Devoid of drama, revisionism, and politics from all colors of the political spectrum.

Because the solutions to our country’s problems is our shared right and responsibility. It cannot be left in the hands of politicians, artistas, and so-called influencers.