Abellanosa: A Marcos presidency


IT is too early to make an analysis of Bongbong Marcos’ presumptive presidency.

Let us allow the last few stages of the electoral process to finish before we’d make predictions or forecasts.

I also find it pointless to reiterate the reasons for Mrs. Robredo’s defeat.

At the onset, I had in mind that this election would be an uphill battle for her. But at least we should congratulate her for making a good fight.

After this election, she (as a person) has nothing to lose but many things to gain.

So now that the stage is for BBM to occupy, it would be good to give him a chance to make his performance. This time, without coaching and rehearsals.

He is going to have a freer hand to manage things, and so we shall see what’s going to happen next.

Either things will validate our fears or disprove them. Whatever – what we shall experience are necessary in proving who’s right or not in the pre-election analysis.

The very first thing that I’d like to see under a BBM presidency is “how” he shall work on his dream of “uniting” the Philippines.

If this is a legit desire for the entire country, his discourse should expand beyond his crowd and into the circle of his critics and opponents.

So how would he extend the "branch of peace" to Mrs. Robredo and the institutions (academe and religious) who did not support him? Apparently, he cannot claim to have a full blast in his “unity project” if he’d allow these people and groups to be at odds with him.

As in all presidencies, there is a honeymoon period, and it would be good to see and know whether within this "time and space" BBM would be capable of taking the necessary steps towards this so-called unity.

Crucial among his decisions in this area will be the peace process.

The second thing that I’d like to see (with a little excitement) is the line-up of appointees for his cabinet.

The kind of leader he is – shall be reflected in the kind of people who’ll surround him. And here we are not just talking about the technical qualifications of the appointees (e.g. lawyer, doctor, Ph.D. holder) but also their track record and their location within the political spectrum.

I remember former president Estrada who, despite being called a High School dropout, appointed competent and qualified secretaries. He even extended DFA secretary Domingo Siazon who was originally appointed by his predecessor Fidel V. Ramos.

Hopefully, BBM will be surrounded by people who can advise him well; people who know their field, and not just those who’d be made to enjoy juicy positions because it’s payback time. Again, this remains to be seen.

Finally, I would like to see how BBM will deal with issues related to accountability.

What shall he do with the human rights victims of Martial Law, what shall he do with the ill-gotten wealth, and what will be the future of PCGG?

Additionally, and though this is minor for many of the BBM supporters, it would be interesting to hear from him what his message shall be during his first celebration of Edsa as president of the republic.

Of course, we cannot rule out the possibility of him erasing Edsa not only from our calendar but more so from our history books.

There are many more items to include in our list, but we are not afforded the luxury of space for them all.

Should BBM “definitely” win, then he should get the congratulations he deserves. But this does not mean that all is over, and our analyses should end.

Neither are we saying that the analyses of some ideologues are absolutely right.

Sometimes, our discourses are powerful and popular only because we are siding with those who are enjoying privilege and power. The rest remains to be seen.


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