THAT I am generally supportive of incoming President Rody Duterte does not mean I am swallowing his bait hook, line and sinker. I am simply focusing on core issues and withholding any judgment until after he starts addressing them as president. But I do have misgivings on some of what he has done so far.
First, the way and reason he snubs Vice-President-elect Leni Robredo. He is not making even a token effort to find her a position in his government and now doesn’t want her inaugurated with him. I believe she should be accorded the respect proper to any properly elected national official like they both are.
Also, snubbing her because he does not want to hurt the feelings of Bongbong Marcos (BBM) sends people the wrong message that his friendship with BBM trumps the people’s will. He, moreover, puts in doubt how extensive his drive is against corruption as it seems he is allowing a friendship to bury in forgetfulness the corruption of the Marcos family that once brought untold sufferings to Filipinos.
Nevertheless, and not that my opinion really matters, I am willing to gloss over this issue because I am confident that, position or no position, Leni Robredo will not be a spare tire but will accomplish great things for Filipinos. I just wished President-elect Duterte did not ignore her and instead discussed with her a position by which she could officially help him in the work of nation building.
Second, allowing the burial of the late dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I can live with the reason that Marcos is a soldier and deserves a plot there but only if he is just simply buried without any fuss at all. I doubt if a state or hero’s burial, with all the fanfare, would result in the healing of wounds inflicted by Martial Law on thousands of Filipinos. It could hurt the sensitivities of many and might just re-open wounds that time has not completely healed.
But then again, I know I tend to be emotional about this issue, having suffered and seen many others suffer in the hands of beasts the late Ferdinand Marcos unleashed on a hapless people. A less emotional part of me is confident the issue of a Libingan burial for Marcos will shrink in size if Duterte is able to effectively address the core issues facing the country of federalism, social justice, crime and corruption.
That should more than compensate for the people’s suffering during Martial Law. Still, a doubt lingers if healing can come without repentance and atonement from the Marcoses. As part of his fight against corruption, maybe Duterte could leverage his friendship with BBM into convincing the latter’s family to apologize to Filipinos and return to the nation what they have plundered.