BAGUIO

Pawid: The man who mystifies us

Lighter Moments

WHO is Francis Leo Marcos?

Facebook enthusiasts woke up one morning in April to watch on YouTube a middle-age flamboyant guy. He was directing the delivery of several trucks of rice to a neighborhood on lockdown.

Metro Manila and the rest of the countryside were declared on lockdown and citizens were ordered to self-quarantine in their homes. The government directive was to protect and keep safe everyone and all from the deadly Covid-19.

The guy, sporting a white shirt, identified himself as Francis Leo Marcos (FLM). At the background is a regal home in an upper-middle-class hood. A couple of trucks, loaded with sacks of rice were visible in the video flexing his charity work.

Daily, similar scenes were posted on Facebook generating positive reactions and generating instantly hundreds of thousand fans. Here and there, quarantined residents getting low on food supply were requesting for priority delivery.

The government, national and local, was still at a quandary on how to effectively deliver food and cash assistance to thousands on enforced isolation. Road checkpoints were set up and manned by police, tanods and medical volunteers as a safeguard versus the spread of the deadly virus.

The philanthropy of this guy was placed under question after he challenged his rich neighbors and politicians to share their wealth with those who cannot go out to earn a living. His family name as a Marcos was challenged; and his background was scrutinized.

The give and take of criticism and praise were entertaining in social media. Several underrated, boisterous and rowdy u-tube bloggers joined in the drama to pursue audiences in the class C and D categories.

He claims to be the son of a sibling of the late President Marcos. This was denied by the Marcos family.

His own video scenes reveal he carried the name Norman Mangusin in his teen years in Baguio City. Yet no local resident has surfaced to identify with him. The only positive proof of his being in Baguio is a court case resulting in the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

A number of friends asked me whether this guy may have Igorot blood running in his veins. They say "Mangusan" is a common name among Kankanay tribes in northern Benguet and western Mountain Province towards the borders with Ilocos Sur. Perhaps yes; perhaps no. Yet, Mangusan and Mangusin could be pronounced mistakenly as one.

The National Bureau of Investigation arrested and detained him. This opened the floodgates of allegations of this Mangusin or FLM as a fraud living a con life. As of this writing, he remains detained in a prison facility in Bicutan. His lawyers are working for his release, and from the grapevine, these colorful guys may once again enjoy life in liberty.

His philanthropic activities of distributing food to the needy stopped altogether while he was detained. A riddle in the minds of observers that must be solved. Coffee shop aficionados speculate that it is an indication he never had a business company, that he claims, with a solid organization to sustain his charity work. Either way, I always maintained it is good for every person.

Ambiguous it is. Life would be pallid, ashen and tedious without mysteries.

Or is it bad luck that touched the life of Mangusin or Francis Leo Marcos? Whichever way it goes, bad luck either destroys one or makes the man you really are.


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