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Bienvenido Marcario

The most interesting literary form is biography and autobiography. Our lives have often been formed by a critical experience, mine by the Spanish Civil War.Even some WAIS rightists are disillusioned Marxists. Wars turn generals into pacifists. Often our memories are tragic. As Aeneas said to Queen Dido when she asked him to tell the story of the fall of Troy: "Mens meminisse horret"--"My mind shudders at the memory".

It is for this reason that we post this background piece Bienvenido Macario sends us about himself: "President Marcos was elected in 1965 and re-elected in 1969, he declared martial law in 1972 and was ousted in 1986. For 21 years Marcos was in power, and I was there most of the time. In my youth I worked for clean and honest elections, I helped farmers the best and most effective way I could. I was thrown in jail and held incommunicado for two months.

My every step was monitored for the next four months after I was released. Often we were "invited" back. Some were "interrogated" until they passed out. They were doused with water, and then the interrogation resumed. Some of us resisted and fought back. We are not leftists, we are not socialists. Between the left and the right there is a thin line of sanity, equivalent to the strong middle class lacking in aspiring democratic societies.

I was stripped of citizenship and denied an "exit visa" to the US. Four years later I worked for the Marcos government as a court interpreter in the Superior Court. I instigated legal reforms and helped set precedents that are I hope still in place. l fought for human rights for civilians, police and soldiers alike, helping US and other nationals to escape the hellish fate of being incarcerated in a Third World country like the Philippines.

I opposed Marcos' policies which I did not believe in and supported those that made sense. I would like to think that I gained the respect of some in the Marcos government and the opposition. It was only in February 1986 that Cardinal Sin started to "oppose" Marcos. The archdiocese of Manila remains to this day the second richest in the world, with 60% of the nation's wealth now owned by his fellow Chinese". [Is Sin Chinese? Bienvenido concludes with observations about the poverty of Catholic countries . RH.]

Ronald Hilton - 12/25/00