Marcos’ military record full of lies, says Philippine historical body

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The National Historical Commission of the Philippines says former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos lied about his feats as a soldier, that’s why he does not deserve to be accorded a hero’s burial. 

Ferdinand Marcos lied about receiving three military medals and was never recognized as the leader of his supposed guerrilla unit, Ang Mga Maharlika (literally translated in English as The Noble), among other things, according to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

For this alone, the NHCP said the late dictator should not be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).

“A doubtful record also does not serve as a sound, unassailable basis of historical recognition of any sort, let alone burial in a site intended as its name suggests for heroes,” the NHCP said in its study, “Why Ferdinand E. Marcos should not be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani” that was released on July 12.

The commission said the 17-page study, based on archived documents and official websites of pertinent US government agencies, among others sources, was undertaken as “part of its mandate to conduct and disseminate historical research and resolve historical controversies.”

According to the NHCP, Marcos’ military record is “fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies and lies.”

For instance, it said that while Marcos claimed to have received three “major” US medals―the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Order of the Purple Heart―several writers and historians had put this into question.

The NHCP said John Sharkey, assistant foreign editor of The Washington Post, for example, wrote in 1983 that an “18-month effort to verify Marcos’ claims to high American decorations raises serious doubts about whether he actually was awarded them.”

It said a Filipino war historian, University of the Philippines professor Ricardo Jose, also argued that it was “simply not possible for one man to have caused the delay of the fall of Bataan by three months.”

“The rule in history is that when a claim is disproven, it is simply dismissed,” the NHCP said.

According to the commission, the “nonrecognition” of Ang Mga Maharlika was also reiterated by Major R. G. Langham.

It said that in a memorandum dated May 31, 1945, Langham said the unit “with a strength of six officers and 18 enlisted men,” was “not recommended for recognition because of the limited military value of their duties.”

The NHCP said the nonrecognition of Ang Mga Maharlika also appeared in the memorandum of Lt. Kenneth Neubauer to Capt. J. O. Keider on Sept. 18, 1947.

“US officials (also) did not recognize Mr. Marcos’ rank promotion from major in 1944 to Lt. Col. by 1947,” the NHCP said.

It added that Marcos’ actions such as his command over the Alias Intelligence Unit, his commissioning of officers and his listing of his name in several units, among others, were also “called into question by upper echelons of the US military.”

“When a historical matter is under question or grave doubt, the matter may not be established or taken as fact,” the commission said.

“For these reasons, the NHCP opposes the plan to bury Mr Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani,” it added.

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