Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Garcias were Marcos Allies during Martial Law

Even before the arrival of the Spaniards, Cebu has always been a bastion of independent thinking.

One of the main reasons Manila became the Spoaniards' capital was because the natives of Cebu were fiercer, more hostile, and harder to subjugate.

Throughout the centuries, Cebu has always proven itself to be a lover of democracy and justice.

In this political season, let us remember those politicians in recent memory who were embodiments of democracy during the Martial Law era. As Cebuanos, let us remember how most of Cebu stood up against Marcos in the 70s and 80s.

President Gloria M. Arroyo herself in 2006 said that "Cebu is the birthplace of the freedom Filipinos achieved in Edsa 1".

Sergio Osmeña III, together with the rest of the Osmeñas, was a staunch Marcos critic. Because of his family's stand against Ferdinand Marcos, Serge Osmeña was imprisoned.

The Davides, on the other hand, were strong oppositionists during Martial Law. In 1971, Hilario G. Davide, Jr. became one of the Con-Con delegates and was among three delegates who introduced the most number of reform proposals. By 1978, he was one of the most vocal critics of Martial Law. He ran for the opposition party Pusyon Bisaya and became the Minority Floor Leader in an administration party dominated legislature. He filed the most number of bills of national significance, as well as resolutions to lift martial law. He strongly supported investigations on graft and corruption of government officials. President Arroyo described Davide as someone who "embodies Cebuano courage and intellect."

The Kintanars were also another oppositionist family during Martial Law. While Argao's mayor, Antonio A. Almirante, Jr., was a Marcos puppet, many of Argao's old families, the Kintanars in the forefront, went against the ruling party. After the toppling of Marcos, Carmiano Kintanar, one of the main opposition leaders in Argao, was appointed caretaker mayor of Argao.

So where were the Garcias during Martial Law? Pabling Garcia ended up in politics because of his association with politicians who were his clients, including the Duranos, who were known Marcos allies. Joining the rest of the pro-Marcos politicians, he ran in 1978 under the banner of Marcos's Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, which was badly beaten in Cebu by the Pusyon Bisaya opposition party.

The Osmeñas, Davides, Kintanars, with the rest of Cebu, were brave and independent minded families who fought against Marcos and his martial rule. While the rest of Cebu defied Marcos, the Garcias hobnobbed with the creme de la creme of Marcos's inner circles and became his supporters. Do we really want this kind of family to rule Cebu?

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