I am posting this article by Andrew Lim as it sums up my feelings exactly. I watched Bong Bong’s early years in the UK. Stories leaking out from his school only served to confirm that he was, in every unpleasant, bullying way, his father’s son.
by Andrew Lim
With Bongbong Marcos running for Vice-President in 2016 sans standard bearer and party nomination, one easily sees it as a tactical move, one that sets a higher future objective: becoming President of the Republic. It is a test, now or never, and would be the Marcos family’s last chance since Bongbong’s siblings are not interested and their matriarch is near the end of her life. A last chance to artificially cleanse their legacy and revise history.
A common rationale – “he is not his father”, used in the past by the extreme Left when the Nacionalista Party adopted Satur Ocampo, and used lately by the plummeting Binay does not hold water because of the massive ill-gotten wealth. In both instances laughable since all their principles went out the window. Where exactly did the Marcos wealth come from?
An even weaker argument – one that this writer believes is a product of the “easy forgiveness” culture encouraged by the dominant religion here- is that we should forgive and forget, and move on. As if the pursuit of justice is not as central and important to one’s faith as forgiveness.
Marcos Squid Tactics
Bongbong is not the least apologetic. He re-frames constantly, avoiding direct responsibility for anything, and tries to dangle alternatives to make people forget their track record.
“We are here to serve. That has always been the culture in my family.”
“Many cases have been brought to court here and in the US. But if you talk to people, they are not concerned about that. Filipinos are concerned about their lives today. They want answers: ‘Why are there drugs in our streets? Why is the crime rate going up at an alarming rate? Why is the educational sector miserable? Why is distribution of wealth not happening? Why is the government not doing anything?’ . . . This is what people are worried about, and that’s what I will address.”
“What happened in 1986 happened already. These things have already been decided. To analyze it belongs to those historical scholars. But I am not a historical analyst. I am a public servant. All I look at is what people want from their public servants. It’s very simple: leadership, a plan, a program, policies to improve their lives.” [Marcos: Filipinos want solutions, not history talk]
The senator shows no remorse about his family’s role in Philippine history.
“I felt it to be an advantage, a blessing and I’m very thankful that I am a Marcos. . . . I am very happy that I was born into the Marcos family. I never felt it to be a burden.”[Bongbong: ‘I’m thankful I’m a Marcos’]
This comment has earned some sharp rebukes, and I hope the President and others in civil society will take up the cudgels and rebut the Senator.
Here’s the best tongue-in-cheek response to Bongbong, written by Boying Pimentel for the Inquirer; Boying was a veteran of the student protest movements in the eighties.
“It’s tough to know what’s going on when there’s so much partying going on. And as we now know from the home movies retrieved from Malacanang after the Marcoses were chased out of the country, the dictator and his family loved to party!
So how in the world would Bongbong know about the repression and the plunder that was taking place around the country. How was he supposed to understand this dark era of pain and brutality when all he saw were bright party lights and happy times.” [Bongbong Marcos is right: Why should he say ‘Sorry?’]
And for levity, Boying has this to say in a separate article:
“Yes, I think Marcos Jr. running for president would be a great idea for the following reasons:
(1) He wouldn’t win. . . .
(2) Bongbong would speak (and say crazy things). . . .
(3) Imelda would be in the spotlight again, speak (and say crazy things). . . .
(4) It would force the Marcoses to tap and move their hidden billions. . . .
(5) It would remind young Filipinos what Marcos Sr. did to the country. . . . “[Why Bongbong Marcos should run for president in 2016]
A Brief Primer on these Neo-Marcos Loyalists
Most of the originial Marcos loyalists – the politicos comprising the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the corrupt military men, and the civilians are either very old or have died by now. Kit Tatad, the youngest then in Marcos’ Martial Law cabinet is already in his late seventies. So who are these new supporters of the Marcoses?
Intrigued by this development, I investigated this phenomenon some years ago by engaging a number of these neo-Marcos loyalists in online and face to face conversations. And this is the disturbing and sad insight I got: Many of these kids come from very dysfunctional and broken families. The absence of responsible adults in their lives make them vulnerable to targeting by the Marcos camp. Some have one or both parents who work abroad, and multiple problems emerge from this set-up: many of the marriages break down, one parent carries an affair and the long periods of separation lead inevitably to alienation amongst the family members. Gradually, all crumble. The kids are adrift. They have to fend for themselves – either economically, socially, mentally and for the unfortunate ones, in all of them.
Lucky are those who have aunts and uncles or grandparents who can take over parental responsibilities, but they generally cannot give the constant attention and teaching, specially on political awareness.
It is a very gloomy world these kids live in, full of frustration and despair. They see the country as hopeless, and their futures bleak.
Enter the Marcos camp. Making full use of internet-era tools like Youtube, Facebook and blogsites, they create alternate universes of reality – that the Marcos era was a morally upright one, and cite its dubious achievements while glossing about the corruption and the abuse.
The head-scratching thing about it, though is that due to the absence of educated and responsible adults in their lives, these kids lap it all up, when all they have to do is ask around and read the reputable news sources. They are content to just read the Marcos-supplied propaganda, many coming from non-reputable sources.
A close parallel are the youthful ISIS recruits who are so disillusioned and distraught with their personal lives that they succumb to this romantic notion that joining ISIS is a noble adventure that would give meaning to their personal narratives. Female recruits are sold the fantasy of meeting their future husband-warriors in ISIS.
Why does this happen? My personal theory is that the fable that there was once a golden era and there is a chance it can be restored is a soothing one; it eases all the pain and angst these kids are undergoing, and that things are not in their control. There is a saviour, a white knight that will banish all their demons and magically restore their broken lives. And that messiah, albeit a false one, is a Marcos.
Not all of these Marcos loyalists are youngsters, though. On Raissa Robles’ website, I was able to converse briefly with an elderly loyalist. Intrigued as to her authencity, I requested her to provide bona fides. To my surprise, she did. Unfortunately, she never replied back, probably spooked as to how I was able to sniff out her real identity. I was most interested in having a real conversation with a person who lived through all those years and still come out in support of the Marcoses.
Except for benefiting personally from the corruption, perhaps a faulty, selective assessment?
- You can find our exchange here: Marcos Pa Rin; My husbands Lovers.
There is just one practical way for Bongbong to make amends to the Filipino people. Apologize, and back it up by returning the rest of the ill-gotten wealth.
Otherwise, he is just as evil as his father and mother, and should be rejected resolutely.