“I was kidnapped” – Marcos; Did father and son forgive kidnappers? Part II

by Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.

In last issue’s Part I, we quoted former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ declaration “I was kidnapped.” We cited the corroborative statement of Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco who was kidnapped with him.

More corroboration of kidnapping
Brigadier General Santiago Barangan, my cousin-in-law, who was Marcos’ Chief of the Presidential Security Command, told me that Marcos’ plan during EDSA was to travel to Ilocos Norte by land. They had loaded trucks with money to finance the continued operation of the government.

When the EDSA demonstrators against Marcos were gaining ground, I called Former Senator Leonardo B. Perez, a close friend of Marcos, and my fraternity brother in the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity.

I told him that the Consul General in San Francisco became a “balimbing” (multisided fruit or “turncoat”) and had joined Cory Aquino.

“I will tell Marcos to appoint you as officer-in-charge,” Perez said. “I can’t accept brod, I am a U.S. citizen,” I replied.

“What’s the plan of Marcos if the rebels get closer to Malacanang?” I asked. “We will go to Ilocos Norte and continue running the government from there,” Perez said.

The “Malacanang of the North” was built by Marcos on the shores of Paoay Lake near Laoag.

“Can Marcos hold the fort if Cory’s forces attacked?” I asked. Perez said yes, as long as the Americans do not interfere.

“What if the Americans interfered,” I asked. Marcos might ask other countries for help, said Perez. “Like Russia?” I asked. He did not answer.

Was Marcos kidnapped because he played the “Russian Card”?
People believed that the Americans had begun to dislike Marcos because he was playing the “Russian card”.

Fernando del Mundo’s article in UPI on August 8, 1985 said: “President Ferdinand Marcos, apparently playing his ‘Russian card,’ chided the United States Thursday for interfering in Philippine affairs and accepted a ceremonial award from the Soviet Union… The 67-year-old leader has sharply attacked moves by the U.S. Congress in recent months to attach conditions to U.S. aid to the Philippines, saying such efforts constituted interference in the Philippines’ internal affairs.”

Citing former Sen. Rene Espina, the article said: “Marcos is sending a signal to the United States that if they don’t like him any more, the Russians will be very happy with him.”

Imelda Marcos met with the Soviet Ambassador to the Philippines and raised a toast to Soviet-Philippine friendship on Soviet National Day after returning from a trip to the Soviet Union, wrote Seth Mydans in the New York Times, November 8, 1985.

Imelda announced that ties between the two nations have entered “a new era of friendship and mutual cooperation.” Mydans said that political commentators had pointed out that Imelda’s trip was made to play the “Soviet card” against the Americans.

Did Marcos and his son forgive the kidnappers?

It has been said that “to err is human, to forgive divine.” But the kidnapping of Marcos was not an error. It was a deliberate wrongful act – whether it was done at the behest of Cory, or because the Americans did not like Marcos anymore for playing the “Russian card”, or for whatever reason.

I visited Marcos at his temporary residence on Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu after he was released from Hickam Air Force Base. I expressed my sorrow for the pain he must be suffering after the way he was treated.

He replied: “You don’t have to be sorry, you had nothing to do with it. There will be retribution.”

“How do you feel about Enrile?” I inquired. “Do you know Enrile?” Marcos asked. “Yes,” I replied. “I was Corporate Counsel of Dole Corporation and his firm was the retained counsel. We met a number of times. He is intelligent.”

“Have you heard of the Enrile breakfast?” Marcos inquired. “No, sir,” I answered. “An Enrile breakfast consists of two soft boiled eggs and one small chorizo,” Marcos said, laughing derisively.

I said: “Perhaps, if you had appointed Ramos as Chief of Staff he would not have joined Enrile.”

“How can I appoint him, he is like a “wheelbarrow?” Marcos retorted. I asked what he meant. “Don’t you know what a wheelbarrow is? You must lift it and push it to make it move.”

As for Marcos Jr., how does he feel about the kidnappers? People say that by coming to America to address the United Nations General Assembly and by meeting with President Biden, he has forgiven the kidnappers. Coming to America does not show forgiveness.

Marcos Jr. already came to Hawaii after he had returned to the Philippines. I introduced him when he spoke before the Filipino community. While in Hawaii, he was asked to appear before a U.S. District Judge. We were barred from entering the courtroom. 

People say that Marcos Jr. is a forgiving person citing his appointment of 98-year-old Juan Ponce Enrile as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. According to observers, if not for the Enrile “coup d’etat” there would have been no kidnapping.

That’s not necessarily evidence of forgiveness. There are two theories on why Marcos, Jr. appointed Enrile: One theory is that Marcos, Jr. wants to keep a close eye on Enrile to prevent him from committing mischief.

Marcos Jr. must be a follower of Sun Tzu, a Chinese military strategist, who said in The Art of War that one should “keep a close watch on the enemy.”

The other theory is that if Marcos Jr. wants to declare martial law, Enrile’s prior martial law experience under Marcos Sr. will come in handy.

September 11, 2022 is the 105th anniversary of the birth of Ferdinand Marcos. I was in his hometown of Sarrat during his 100th birth anniversary in 2017.

We first met Manong Andy (that’s how we addressed him) in 1947 in the home of my uncle Dr. Damaso T. Samonte, then congressman of the first district of Ilocos Norte and chairman of the Liberal Party of the province. Marcos wanted to run as congressman of the second district.

When Roque Ablan, Jr. and I were studying at the University of the Philippines, and Manong Andy was already a congressman, we would borrow his Chrysler. We drove Manong Andy’s girlfriend Miss Press Photography of 1949 Carmen Ortega wherever she wanted to go.

Manong Andy was the first to offer me a job in his law office after I placed third in the 1955 bar exam. Manong Andy’s father, Don Mariano Marcos, and my father played poker during the Japanese occupation.

Manong Andy’s mother, Dona Josefa Edralin Marcos, and my mother were co-teachers and raised bail money for Manong Andy when he was incarcerated on charges of assassinating Assemblyman Julio Nalundasan.

Dona Josefa was a sponsor during my wedding. Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos once invited us to her apartment where she showed yellowing certificates of deposit of gold bullion evidencing their ownership. I wrote an article “Marcos Gold: Fact or Fiction” in Filipino Life magazine published by Atty. Edilberto B. Bravo.

When First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos, wife of Marcos, Jr., applied to teach at the Northwestern University College of Law in Laoag when I was the Dean, I appointed her as a professor.

DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions of columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the Hawaii Filipino Chronicle editorial board.

ATTY. TIPON was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree. He has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: filamlaw@yahoo.com. Website: https://www.tiponlaw.com.

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