Bongbong in 2016

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Sunday, May 25, 2014


I MET recently one of the administrators of a discussion group in Facebook. He shared the observation that people pushing for the presidential run of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in 2016 are now aggressively posting pro-Marcos threads.

I agreed with him and admitted I was tempted at times to answer the half-truths and preposterous claims these people are spreading but backed off because I realized it was futile. As we Cebuanos say, “Lisod pukawon ang nagmata nang daan.”

I googled “Bongbong Marcos” on Facebook the other night and did find a few sites promoting the presidential ambition of The Real Macoy’s son. As expected, these sites are vigorously peddling erroneous claims on a presidency that morphed into the martial law regime and finally the Conjugal Dictatorship.

It’s difficult to ascertain who the administrators of these discussion groups are and whether any of them have gotten the imprimatur of the Marcoses. These people either honestly believe in the Marcos family’s leadership style or are funded by it.

Here’s an example of the kind of shit these pro-Marcos sites are churning, comparing Ferdinand Sr. with President Noynoy Aquino’s father, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.:

Marcos: Nag-declare ng martial law para labanan ang komunismong nanggugulo sa bayan.

Nakipagpulong sa mga komunista, kay Joma Sison at sa CPP-NPA. Nais pabagsakin ang administrasyon nang sa gayon siya ay mahalal bilang presidente. (A variation of this: Ninoy was convicted of rebellion by Marcos’s military court, proof that he was pro-communist.)

I won’t go at length correcting this lie. Most Filipinos know why Ferdinand Sr. declared martial law on Sept. 21, 1972 and what he did to Ninoy and his family.

Admittedly though, battling this revisionist and erroneous retelling of the Marcos period is getting difficult by the day.

But I am confident in the ability of the majority of Filipinos to see through the lies. And it is because of this that I would like to see Ferdinand Jr. (Bongbong) run for president in 2016.

To be fair, Bongbong and his father are two different persons. For one, he is less of an intellect than his father, in much the same way that P-Noy didn’t inherit many of Ninoy’s qualities as a thinker and leader. Bongbong’s record as senator is as lackluster as that of P-Noy when he was congressman and senator.

As a person, Bongbong has as much right as any other Filipino to run for president and become one. But it is everything that he represents that would make this country a laughingstock of the world if he wins.

The Marcoses represent a chunk of our history that we would rather put into its dustbin. I remember that those who struggled against the Marcos dictatorship and who participated in the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising that ousted Ferdinand Sr. shouted hoarse this simple vow: “Never Again!” Yes, never again!

Perhaps, Bongbong running for president will awaken once more, although in reverse, the same patriotism that had many former Edsa denizens supporting the Noynoy Aquino candidacy in the 2010 presidential elections. They will go out not to support Bongbong but to ensure that he and the Marcos loyalists will lose.

A Marcos presidential run will be a jolt, true. But that jolt will be on the “forces of right” that have remained largely dormant after Edsa 1. They will be made to realize that the struggle for good governance is a continuing one and that resting is never an option.

(khanwens@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 26, 2014.

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