A few months ago, I wrote the following article, having sensed an ominous goings-on in our country’s political scene wherein the son “Junior” of the late Dictator Ferdinand Marcos as a member of the Philippine Senate seemed to be exuding confidence cum braggadocio to further push his political fortunes in the coming presidential elections. True enough, he has come forward into the political arena as a vice-presidential candidate.
We are deeply alarmed by this. Weeks later, his showing in the survey ratings became more alarming, something that cannot just be taken for granted! We—especially us, who have gone through the horrible days of the Marcos Conjugal Dictatorship and experienced the virulent poison it had infused into our national life—can not take this with an attitude of indifference, much less with complacency, as if it were just to be another game of fate yet to be consigned to “bahala na” probability.
And so we have organized the CARMMA- Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang. In our cry of rejection of Bongbong Marcos’ bid to the vice-presidential race we resound a most vehement cry —NO TO BONGBONG MARCOS!
But it behooves for us to take a glimpse at the past to allow ourselves the benefit of knowing why Philippine political affairs has taken a turn into what now transpires. And so here is a reiteration of my own examination of the unfolding scenario several weeks back.
The political choreography of Bongbong Marcos
Why does Bongbong Marcos seem to be sprightly showy in launching his political ambition? What energizes him so promptly at this stage of his career? He seems brimming with confidence that the future holds in store for him glowing scenarios of triumph in his climb towards the helm of power.
And we wonder how it came to pass that the Marcoses are able to come back to government posts? Have we forgotten the crimes that their family head, the Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, committed against the people? Or could it be that his junior Bongbong is in possession of some kind of political talisman?
Perhaps the one factor that helps the incipient vigor in Bongbong’s choreography is the people’s proclivity to easily forget the past. It is a pernicious trait in our character as a people and as a nation. It is not in our nature to make critical surveys of what transpired in our past. We certainly lack the keenness of the proverbial injunction that says “Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinanggalingan ay di makararating sa paroroonan”. This is one major weakness that supplies hindrances to our progress. But why?
Verily, if you are not at all mindful in looking back to what you have gone through as you make your trek ahead, chances are you won’t be aware if you are still on the right path. Perhaps you have already crossed over to another pathway. You may not know that you are only turning around in circle (gi-mino)—because you fail to examine the appearance and features of the paths you have passed—the mud holes, the thorns, the sharp stones, the boulders and other obstacles that may have caused your eternal delays. In short, you haven’t learned the lessons of the past. You lack the tact of historical review, of being analytical, in order to identify the mistakes which will surely keep on recurring and recurring to more serious and far-reaching dimensions.
On the other hand, and this has a bearing on what we have tackled above—the habit of being forgetful or heedless of the lessons of the past—could it be that the breeziness shown by the Marcoses is on account of the perceived weakness on the part of the incumbent administration of Noynoy Aquino? And thusly exploited by the Marcoses! Perhaps they have seen from where they are in their fall that nothing on the road they once trod is any different from the much vaunted “matuwid na daan” (straight road) of Noynoy Aquino. From such keen political intuition grows a feeling of exultation on the part of the Marcoses! No sooner have they seen this state of affairs than they promptly launched their animated choreography in the political arena!
And the people are entertained! They are delighted and clap in applause at the entry of the veteran political players! There’s a new drama –a new sarswela performed on the political stage! They are oblivious of the illusion of the new political game! Even in face of Noynoy’s exhortations, and those of his allies and trolls, the people don’t see any peril, they are bewitched, entranced. More so among the marginalized sectors who have not perceived a difference in their plight yesterday and today. They still feel the same misfortune as dregs of society.
Indeed, has the nation extricated itself from the quagmire of poverty and ushered to the dry land of progress? Has the people known real relief from hardships? And above all, have the despicable and brazen violations of the people’s human rights vanished? Lo and behold, what is the state of affairs in the countryside? The killings, the tortures, the enforced disappearances, kidnappings, rapes and other egregious abuses by the government soldiers against the Lumads—have they stopped? Or much less abated?
Are these not the same atrocities committed by the soldiers of Marcos during those dark days of martial law? And now, they are being perpetrated by the soldiers of Noynoy Aquino! To re-echo the favorite expression of the grassroots masses—“Ah, the same parehas nga bananang saging!”
And so Bongbong Marcos sprightly dances! He is an exemplar of “pakitang-gilas”! And he speaks as eloquently as his late dictator father! His voice booms from the coffin yet uninterred. We seem to hear the drumming syllables from his lips, “By virtue of the power vested upon me by me – ay sorry! — the Constitution, I hereby declare martial law!”
The people, besides forgetting, have not discovered a difference between the government of Macoy and the government of Noynoy. Maybe they differ in their fascistic style. Because Marcos exercised no pretensions and was open in his ferocity and tyrannical ways! But Noynoy is a hypocrite—sporting gentility which of course he inherited from his landlord gentry forebears. His words are double-bladed lies and deceptions!
The basic similarity in their two governments is that both have been consistent in being subservient to foreigners in the economic field!
Foreign business is privileged over and above the Filipino people, especially in extracting the country’s mineral resources. Foreign mining corporations are feasting on the precious mineral wealth of the Philippine islands, while the majority of the native population is scandalously deprived. This was done by the government of the dictator Marcos, by the government of Cory Aquino, by the government of Ramos, Erap, Arroyo, and now by the government of Noynoy Aquino.
And who benefits? The giant businessmen! Henry Sy, Gokongwei, Razon, Lucio Tan, Ayala-Zobel, Villar and other millionaires and billionaires who continue to bloat in profits under the administration of Noynoy. And what about the masses, have they experienced any uplift from their miserable lot? Their plight has worsened with the statistics of increased GDP! Irony!
Now, the question: Does Bongbong Marcos, in his manifest “lies and deceptions” as core features of his campaigns, have any intention of altering the Status Quo? Ay naku, Never! Never in his most devilish grin does he harbor any intention to change the present state of affairs! He is only grappling with the other big werewolves and vampires in our society in their mad scramble for power and wealth! Only their own class will prosper! Their mad pursuit for government posts is meant to entrench the interests of their respective families, friends, and classes. That is the very logic of their crazy grab for power!
Lo and behold! Here is a resume of the SINS of the Marcoses against the Filipino people:
Sin No. 1. Bongbong arrogantly peddles the lie that his father’s unbelievable wealth is legitimate. In 2003, however, the Supreme Court defined the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family as those in excess of their total legal income of around $304,000 only from 1965 to 1986. This belies the claim of Bongbong that the wealth of his father came from his alleged law practice.
So far, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has managed to recover about $4 billion, less than half of the $10 billion fortune believed to have been amassed by the Marcoses through the years. These included billions of pesos worth of deposits in Swiss banks and shares in the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), and San Miguel Corporation, among many others.
Sin No. 2 While the sins of the father may not be passed on to the son, the son could very well inherit the ill-gotten wealth of the father. And Bongbong, together with the family, did inherit the fruits of the legendary Marcos plunder, much of which has yet to be uncovered, and which Bongbong will never reveal and give back to the people. Bongbong, for 30 years, has been a mere salaried government official. How could the Marcos family live in style all these years? Where is his election fund coming from?
Sin No. 3. Bongbong whitewashes the Marcos dictatorship’s crony capitalism, of which he had been a part. In 1985, when he was 26 years old, his father appointed him chairman of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat), receiving a monthly salary of anywhere between $9,700 to $97,000. This, despite the fact that he rarely even went to the Philcomsat office. In 1986, government auditors would discover that Philcomsat was one of the many corporations and organizations used to siphon ill-gotten wealth out of the country.
The economy bled to death due to behest loans granted by Ferdinand Sr. to his cronies who had little or no collateral. But these cronies were mere dummies of Marcos.
The biggest Marcos crony was his partner in crime, Imelda Romualdez, whose free rides in the Philippine Airlines made its debt balloon to $13.8 billion in 1986 before EDSA 1. She was also the head of the Metro Manila Commission (precursor of the Metro Manila Development Authority) which, by end of 1985, had accumulated debts of Ph1.99 billion in its 10 years of existence.
Sin No. 4. Bongbong covers up the unprecedented plunder and economic sabotage that his father committed during the 21 years of his anti-people rule. Under the Marcos dictatorship, the number of Filipinos living below the poverty line doubled from 18 million in 1965 to 35 million in February 1986. The dictator also left behind a staggering foreign debt of $27 billion. This belies the claim of Bongbong that Filipinos were better off under the Marcoses.
Sin No. 5. Bongbong continues to defend and promote martial law when thousands of Filipinos suffered systematic, widespread, and state-sanctioned enforced disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions. At least 3,000 were killed and more than 30,000 were detained, brutally tortured, raped, or suffered various forms of abuse.
Bongbong even had the gall to dismiss the 9,539 human rights victims in the Hawaii class suit who won the case against the Marcos estate, as purely motivated by compensation. “Pera-pera lang ang habol ng mga yan,” he said.
As a reserve officer in the Philippine Army, Bongbong wore the military combat uniform when his father was sworn into office at the balcony of Malacanang after the dictator rigged the 1986 snap presidential elections. Bongbong upheld electoral fraud and was ready to defend the dictatorship by arms.
Sin No. 6. Bongbong has not come out clean in the billion-peso Napoles pork barrel scam. He has a lot to explain about his allocation of Ph100 million for ghost non-government organizations of Janet Lim-Napoles.
Having seen that, NEVER AGAIN to the Marcoses! It’s too much of a historical joke! It would be a true historical curse! That is–if we allow their comeback to Malacanang.