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On Sunday, the Philippines celebrates the life of a hero of democracy. it may be troublesome for the new president

One afternoon in August 1983, a jetliner carrying Philippine Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. landed in Manila. . The popular politician returned from self-imposed exile in Boston and bravely challenged the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whose army escorted him out of the plane. At least four of his gunshots rang out after that. Terrified passengers saw through the window the senator's corpse lying on the tarmac.

Filipinos were already tired of 20 years of the Marcos dictatorship, with its rights violations, martial law, rampant corruption and economic devastation. But Aquino's assassination in broad daylight was the final straw. A senator's widow, Corazon sparked a popular uprising three years after him, Marcos and his family fled to Hawaii, and the dictator died in his 1989. In 1987, the place where he was murdered was renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In 2004, August 21, the date of his assassination, was declared a national holiday. But 39 years after his murder of the senator, the Marcos family has regained power and Aquino's place in history is threatened.

Marcos and historical revisionism

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., 64, won a landslide victory in the presidential election in May

13}. By the cynicalwhitewashingof his father's brutal legacy.

Read more: Why the world should care about Marcos winning

He is a father andrefuses to discuss the many outstanding issues from the days of martial law. He also demanded thathistory textbooksbe revised to lessen references to his family's unexplained wealth. Some of Marcos' millions have been illicitly obtained.

His decision to abide by or ignore the coming Ninoy Aquino Day (he was one of several "features of revolution") reflects his desire for historical revisionism. Experts say it will be an indicator of degree.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 2022 Commander changeover ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on the outskirts of Manila on August 8.


It warns of a "toxic mix of massive disinformation and historical denial" that can bring people into power and keep them there. Already,,have proposed naming Manila Airport after the dictator rather than Aquino. } , a gorgeous film adaptation of the Marcos family's final 72 hours at the presidential palace, is currently in theaters in the Philippines. Aiming to reveal the "untold" story, it portrays them as heroic and tragically misunderstood figures, who behave nobly before the mob at the gate. Senator Marcos hailed the film as "a work of truth".

The changing political winds make many Filipinos uneasy. Archivists are rushing to protect and digitize documents related to the dictatorship. Alsodemand for books critical of the Marcos familyis skyrocketing. But the pro-Marcos forces have put historians under constant attack. "There's really no way to defend yourself here," said Michael "Xiao" Chua, a history professor at De La Salle University in Manila. "Their machines are huge." 74} READ MORE: Unfinished business of Marcos Jr. and the Catholic Church

The future is Uprising-related holidays is unknown. For a while, denouncing these practices seems “offensive,” Chua says. Marcos Jr. has made no record of such memorials and has made no substantive comments on broader topics of human rights or justice since taking power, instead focusing on the Philippine economy.

"But I wouldn't be surprised if this was just Marcos Jr.'s first-year approach," says Hydarian. His six-year term gives the dictator's son plenty of time to continue rewriting history if he so desires.

Filipinos are watching him for clues this Sunday. Please contact