Sunday, August 7

Historical denialism has just begun with Marcos’ win—veteran journalist

by NILLLICENT BAUTISTA

Thomasian journalist and educator Crispin Maslog delivers his speech during the UST 2022 Outstanding Alumni (TOTAL) Awards last May 14.

THE REVISION of Philippine history has just begun with the looming victory of presidential race frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., a veteran journalist said.

Thomasian journalist and educator Crispin Maslog said Marcos’ camp had attempted to revise history and dispute truths even before he ran for vice president in 2016.

“The Marcos project to revise Philippine history has just begun,” journalism and communication professor Crispin Maslog said in a speech during the UST 2022 Outstanding Alumni (TOTAL) Awards last May 14.

“Apart from attempting to erase the history of abuse and corruption by the Marcoses during Martial Law years, the claim has recurring themes, or as often described as “shocking information” is generally portrayed as having been hidden from the public by the historians and the biased press,” he added.

Maslog, an awardee of the Outstanding Thomasian Alumni for Media and Entertainment, said the strategy that ushered the Marcos victory started as early as 2014 and involved two parts. He cited the claim of Cambridge Analytica employee-turned-whistleblower Brittany Kaiser that Marcos approached the political data company as early as 2014 to rebrand the Marcos family’s image on social media

“The strategy involved two parts—downplaying or denying outright the kleptocracy and human rights violations during the martial law years, and second, exaggerating the old Marcos achievements while vilifying his critics, rivals, and mainstream media,” Maslog said.

Maslog said popular Facebook pages like Pinoy Rap Radio tried to dispute the truth about the Marcos’ wealth and the messages were echoed by other social media accounts like Blessed Be Philippines, Team Marcos – The Universal Movement, The Pandora’s Box, and Batang Marcos.

“Altogether, these false claims have logged millions of impressions on Facebook and YouTube,” he added.

The veteran journalist expressed dismay over the looming victory of Marcos, whose father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was ousted during the historic 1986 EDSA Revolution.

“I must say that it pains me to see another Marcos as the next president of the Philippines,” Maslog said.

“We did not see this coming, or we saw it but did not believe it, possible. Or we were too bewildered to react. Probably sums up the Filipino people’s reaction to the Marcos comeback victory,” he added.

Maslog, also a former director of journalism and communication at Silliman University, noted that the network of disinformation used by Marcos was used by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

“Duterte also had an army of trolls led by their generals dubbed as social media influencers which contributed greatly to the election and continue to blindly support him to this day,” he added.

Maslog graduated from the University with a literature in journalism degree in 1955. He received an Outstanding Filipino award Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and was a Fullbright Smith/Mundt scholar from 1960-to 1962.

The UST TOTAL Awards 2022 was organized by the Office of Alumni Relations in recognition of prominent Thomasian alumni who have demonstrated the Thomasian brand of excellence in their respective fields. F

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