Monday, December 21, 2015

For all what people say of Imelda

For all what people say of Imelda

Congresswoman Imelda Romualdez Marcos has, since the ouster of the Marcos administration, been depicted as extravagant. Someone even coined a word, “Imeldific,” to denote one who is ostentatious and extravagant to a point of vulgarity.  But behind that big lie is the truth that she is the only Filipina who has accomplished more for this country, more than anybody else.  It is that fact of history which the elite can never rewrite or undo.

Her detractors, whether expressing envy or “inggit”, or for plainly being pathetic and desperate, continue to churn out their money-making garbage to defame and denigrate her achievements.   From their fabricated and slanted biography to the movie made about her lately, often in collaboration with their imperialist masters, these modern-day hucksters  persist in doing their destructive conspiracy to completely erase her legacy.  But for all the profanities that have been said and written about her, the greatest irony is that Mrs. Marcos remains loved by the great majority of our poor people.   It is their recollection of her that cast upon the elite and to their petty intellectual followers the xenophobic fear that history might not be favorable to them.   They saw how she managed to overcome the greatest tempest in her life like being charged in a foreign court at the instigation of her own government.
The Human Settlements for which she diligently served was the first to come out with the most comprehensive formula to fight poverty.  The “Imeldific” they continue to malign has accomplished more than any of all the First Ladies combined, that as  American historian Howard Zinn would say, the true history of our people.  It could even be said that Imelda has achieved more than the one that has been sporting a hefty budget that averages P2 trillion annually only to perfect the art of bribing politicians for them to toe the line in their make-believe democracy.
Many could still recall Mrs. Marcos’  Green Revolution where she encouraged every family to use every available land to plant vegetables, and raise poultry and pigs to supplement their dietary requirements.   She introduced new varieties of fresh water fish such as tilaplia and pla pla or “Imelda” fish into our fresh water lakes.  Alongside with that program, Imelda created the KADIWA for our poor people to buy their basic needs.  The KADIWA was not meant to ease out the privately-owned groceries, but for the government to stabilize, if not reduce, the prices of basic commodities.   About 252 KIDWA centers were established but were sadly ransacked and vandalized at the height of the yellow frenzy until it was ordered closed at the instigation of big business.
To ensure that the KIDIWA and other retailers would be able to sell their goods to our people at the lowest price, Imelda urged President Marcos to create the Greater Manila Terminal Food Market, Inc. (GMTFMI) in Taguig.   The food terminal sought to provide the basic commodities at subsidized prices to the various KADIWA outlets and private groceries located mostly in Metro Manila.  It has storage facilities, food processing center, a centrally refrigerated warehouse complete with chilling rooms, freezer storage, ice plant, blast freezers and refrigerated processing rooms.  It has a slaughterhouse, a chicken dressing plant, dry storage and packaging facilities for our export products.  That too was abolished and its property sold to Ayala.
Just before the yellow orgy at Edsa, Imelda managed to establish about 6,300 day care centers all over the Philippines.  It was her way of helping mothers to earn additional income while their children are being taken care of.   The Imeldific they hated likewise conceived the Balik Probinsya.   It was a relocation program to our landless urban dwellers who could not find a job in the city, and thus wish to go back to their respective provinces.  Mrs. Marcos not only provided them not only with free transportation, often using Philippine Navy ships, and but also their pocket money to tide them over. 
In support to her nutrition program, President Marcos issued a decree creating the national nutrition council. To the elite, the program was treated as cosmetic, but it was the same program that imprinted her name into the hearts and minds of the poor about the true Imelda they know.  The nutribun she distributed all over the country was added with vitamins to help the poverty-stricken people fight malnutrition.  She also was the first to introduce the botica ng barangay to make sure that basic medicines needed by the poor for common ailments would be within their reach. Mrs. Marcos also initiated the Maligayang Pamasko Program which has become traditional practice.  Yearly, the First Couple distributed 250,000 bags of gifts to bring joy to poor urban dwellers in Metro Manila for them to join the rest in celebrating Christmas.
The most lasting was her construction of various specialized hospitals worthy of being classified as first-class hospitals while being able to attend to all patients irrespective of their economic standing in our society.  The building of the Philippine Heart Center for Asia earned her the distinction of being the “mother” of medical tourism because the hospital she built attracted patients from rich countries. They wanted to avail of our state-of-the-art medical facilities and the skill of our doctors at a much lesser cost.     Elated by its success, she went on to build the Lung Center of the Philippines, the National Kidney Institute, and the Children’s Hospital.  She equally did not forget the poor. She built the Bagong Lipunan Hospital only to be promptly renamed after the street to maliciously spite the Marcos government.
Finally, their hated Imelda took charge in restoring the historic Philippine General Hospital to increase by 1,000 its bed capacity for indigent patients. 
Many of the elite and their misguided mascots were jubilant that Imelda was going to be jailed.  In fact, she was already convicted for allowing the PGH Foundation to lease a portion of the LRT property to commercial stalls, the proceeds of which were to be turned over to the PGH as donation. The judge’s decision was initially affirmed by the Supreme Court. Fortunately, the High Court reversed its own decision. How could they convict a woman based on a written charitable contract where they could not even find her signature, except that she stood as its honorary chairman?
Many more could be said about the pro-poor achievements of the hated Imelda, but she is no longer concerned about what her bashers would say or are contemplating.  She has deep faith in our people whom she has served with utmost selflessness and dedication.  The Imelda some try to paint as lavish and extravagant knows that ultimately, her life would be written by the people who could truly understand the real meaning of love and charity. It is they who will remember and cherish her memories that once upon a time there was that Maganda who came to extricate them from the morass of poverty.

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