“‘He said….’ ‘They said….’” was first published in the Philippine Star on March 18, 2016
“Let us leave history to the professors,” said Sen. Bongbong Marcos, dismissing calls for him to apologize for the crimes committed during the Marcos Martial Law regime. The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) faculty responded, denouncing Bongbong’s “willful distortion of our history” by the attempt to “whitewash the Marcos regime’s wanton violation of human rights and to distort its political-economic record.”
Bongbong Marcos was equally dismissive of this response: “they have the right to their opinion. We’ll agree to disagree.” With this rejoinder, Bongbong picked up more people with whom to disagree. The presidents of the five Jesuit universities in the country signed the ADMU faculty statement. The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), consisting of over 1250 institutions, also adopted the statement as its own.
It is the case of sexual assaults that often prompts the classic “he said, she said” controversies. These crimes usually happen behind closed doors, in secluded areas, without witnesses. Investigators are confronted by conflicting versions of the event, with one party claiming a consensual encounter and another alleging the use of violence.
The rape of a person ordinarily happens in private. But in the 20th century, the rape of a country (which does include the rape and murder of persons), especially when perpetrated over an extended period, can no longer happen in secret.