Abellanosa: Duterte and the Marcoses

Fringes and frontiers

I DID not vote for Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. But if ever I did, I would be disappointed when he said that he is tired and would even be willing to step down. After all the promises, Duterte has finally expressed exasperation. So now, who will kill the drug addicts up to the last one of their kind? This, among many other unrealistic promises such as DOLE’s endo, is nothing but an apparent frustration and failure.

Still, many continue to be hopeful. Sadly, there is a thin line between hope and delusion, optimism and wishful thinking. Many of Duterte’s blind supporters are continually “in denial.” They made a mistake in being uncritical to all his promises in 2016.

Duterte’s admission that he is tired cannot be due to the opposition. How can we blame the opposition when in fact there are not many citizens who are willing to oppose the current administration? Blame the president himself. He thought that he could run this country as smoothly like what he did in Davao. Worse, he capitalized the people’s increasing hopelessness by presenting himself as the alternative to what some would call “failed liberal politics.” Certain analysts got it wrongly when they thought that Duterte’s discourse is a form of critical resistance. Philosophical jargons cannot sugar coat what is plainly a twisted mentality and a leadership devoid of moral framework.

On a related matter, another reason why Duterte is the most frustrating president in recent time is his association with the Marcoses. He has made public his support for Bongbong Marcos especially in the latter’s electoral protest against Leni Robredo. For the record I am not a Robredo supporter, and neither am I a fan of the Aquinos. My honest position is this: Bongbong Marcos and his family remain accountable to the Filipino people regardless of their issues with the Aquinos.

The Marcoses should be held liable for the violations committed against the human rights victims of Martial Law. The issue should not be muddled. The abuses that happened during Ferdinand E. Marcos’ term should be objectively judged apart from his quarrel with Ninoy, whether personal or political.

Precisely, Duterte is not only being irresponsible when he said that he would prefer a Bongbong Marcos as his successor. Other than the fact that he apparently disregarded the Constitution, he has now made public his allegiance to the Marcoses.

Duterte’s style is not only a revival of the Marcosian years. It is, more accurately, a revival of Marcos’ style but more rotten, lacking in legality, refinement and style. Marcos was a dictator but at least he was a graceful dictator. Duterte’s style is without elegance and all.

So there is nothing more to hide. Finally Digong’s blueprint has been revealed. Indeed it is unfortunate that the impossible dream of his supporters is now everyone’s nightmare. We are once more fooled. We were told that this president does not belong to the ranks of the political elites. Perhaps yes, he is not a political elite. Unfortunately he is a pawn of the Marcoses whose ambitions aren’t just elitism but deification. This current administration, weak and ugly, has been the herald of the revival of the Malakas and Maganda narrative. It’s a narrative that continues to fool many to salute a dictator for his fake medals, and to praise the beauty of a former first lady for her pairs of shoes.

Indeed our country has changed... into something worse than ever before!


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