Ledesma: Who's afraid of Bongbong?

IN THE political conflict and family feud between the Aquino and Marcos families the former uses the issue of despicable human rights abuses during martial law regime, cronyism, and corruption.

Nobody ever disputes those and contrary to the Aquino adherents that these will be effaced in our history books or that the facts will be revised is belittling the minds of Filipinos, whether they are victims of the regime or not. So why do the survey figures indicate that the only son of the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, is now statistically tie with Chiz Escudero in the Vice Presidential race?

President Noynoy cannot believe the rise of Bongbong Marcos as if he were a phoenix rising from the ashes of the long dead dictator. In every turn, the President warns of the return of dictatorship as if the son will come after his father. And suspecting that the youths are reading the wrong accounts of revisionist authors and historians he fumed in anger and pathetically screams “there is no such thing as the golden Marcos era”. Are the youths listening? Of course they are.

I have yet to see historical accounts about the martial law regime and the atrocities that happened then that had been revised or purged of the facts and details. On the other hand I have noted of certain events that had been stonewalled or simply omitted from the pages of history. But there are vestiges of the Marcos era that cannot be expunged. Thus we cannot fault the youths if they compare these with current events. It is unfair to say that the present generation is reading from a revised history.

The fault of the two Aquino regimes is that there are very few perceptible achievements to add to the students’ notebooks that made them any different from the Marcos era. In fact they fail in comparison.

Four decades had elapsed since the dictatorship was overthrown by people power and the youths are in the askance as to what significant contributions have the Aquino administrations achieved thus far. The assassination of Ninoy Aquino led to the people’s revolt and the leaders of that phenomenal uprising gave the Presidency to Cory Aquino in a silver platter.

Fast forward, moved by emotion over the necrological dirge over the death of Cory, Filipinos again installed her son to be its leader.

Now almost six years under the son’s regime, what significant differences do the youths see between the Marcos rule and those of the Aquinos?

The fault lies in the failure of the first Aquino governance to prove it was any better than the unlamented regime of Marcos. Okay, we give her the credit for restoring democracy even as we see the tumultuous crowd in EDSA cheering Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos jumping in victory. We saw Cory later taking her oath as President. Erased in the pages of history is that event in troubled Malacañang where Gen. Fabian Ver begged Marcos to give him the order to bomb the crowd and Marcos rebuffing him. We see in the pages of recent accounts the brutalities committed during martial law but we do not see the slaughter of demonstrating farmers in Mendiola square and in the gates of Hacienda Luisita.

Aquino and some of his loyalists intone “never again to another Marcos” but still the survey ratings of another Marcos keep rising. The answer is in the score sheets of the youths. This is their generation. What happened 30 years ago is of very little relevance to them. Nevertheless what hand been achieved during the Marcos era and the Presidents before and those that came after him, the Aquinos’ presidency included, are their benchmarks.

Thus, what probably makes Bongbong an option are the inutility and ineptness of the two most popular Aquino regimes and the institutionalization of graft and corruption especially of the present. As the elders say, “why blame the children for the sins of their parents?”

And yet we hear the clerics condemning Bongbong. I can almost hear Somebody rebuking them saying “he who is above me continue to cast aspersion”.

I am weighing my options whom to vote for vice president between Cayetano and Robredo. I have become averse to the monotone and monologue of Chiz whose performance as Senator is really pipsqueak.

And now I am asking myself what is there in Bongbong that makes him tick? Like Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte he is least seen on TV and does not have even a TV or radio advertisement.

What’s getting the goat of President Aquino? Why is he so annoyed and scared of Bongbong?
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