Un-flashily dressed (Tik-tok fashion influence to feign something?) and impeccably presidential, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. charmed his supporters and the rest of an apprehensive nation with his presidency’s priority programs. Unfortunately, it was not what he said but what he left unsaid that needed analyzing for clues as to what to expect in the next six years.

What President Bongbong Marcos (PBBM) said was music to a lot of people’s ears. But what he didn’t say or what was hidden by the window-dressed covers of a carefully written sanguine inaugural speech might augur a less than pleasant future for this nation.

Not that it was expected, but no hint of an apology for his father’s crimes to the Filipino people could be found anywhere in his speech. If he had at least hinted at an apology, we could take his promises as his way of making up for the world-acknowledged historical fact that his father ran this country to the ground.

Instead, by his silence on Martial Law, he approved of it and its damage to the nation. That is rather ominous and should make us squirm uncomfortably in our minds, wary of what might happen in the next six years.

Nor did he promise to return what his family stole from the Filipino people. Legitimate courts here and abroad have judged the huge amount as stolen or plundered from the nation’s treasury and should be returned. How can he serve, do good to, a country he does not respect enough as to pay his family’s debts to it now that he has the power to do so?

He also did not promise to pay taxes a Philippine court has judged his family to be liable for. How will he now encourage people to pay their taxes? And how will he fund his programs when people, following his example, no longer pay their taxes?

He understandably did not say that in his term nobody will be above the law. His mother, convicted of graft in 2018 and ordered arrested by a court of law, has yet to serve her jail sentence. It would be no surprise if he put his mother (and a few others?) above the law.

I can’t remember him promising to eradicate corruption either. His father showed politicians how to get away with plunder and that is by doing it big-time. Doesn’t that make us wonder why eradicating corruption is not in PBBM’s agenda?

But the main thing PBBM glaringly omitted but subtly hinted at was his top priority in office. As naively but truthfully came out of the mouth of babe Senator Robin Padilla (by the way, how did this guy become one?), PBBM’s top priority will be to clean up and burnish the family image. His priority is to unite us around his alternative truth about what to us was really a savage Martial Law regime and a presidency that bankrupted this nation.

What PBBM said could move the country forward. But what he did not say could move it backwards. Many of us know there is a dark side to PBBM’s persona and had better be vigilant in the next six years.