Philippine society is boiling over with trouble like a witch’s cauldron and many weightier issues need this political columnist’s heed. But I beg my reader’s indulgence to let me blow off some steam here. Edsa anniversary is around the corner and I want to set the record straight on this which the highest official of the land so self-righteously revised recently.
President Bongbong Marcos (PBBM) told the crowd that greeted him on his first visit to Hawaii since a US army helicopter whisked the first family from Malacañang which was then under siege by an angry nation, how grateful he was to the Filipinos who helped them while in Hawaii because, in his own words, “we landed here with nothing.”
For decades, his family plundered the country and stashed away their loot in foreign banks. Now he has the temerity to act the victim and invoke the world’s pity for arriving helpless in Hawaii… with nothing? Come on, Mr. President, you can do better than that!
In your hurry, you probably could not fit all of your mother’s shoes in a small helicopter. But I’m sure you were able to scoop up some of her jewelry and the ready cash that the family surely had access to at any given time. Daddy Marcos Sr. practically owned the whole Philippines. How can you now tell people the family arrived in Hawaii with nothing? How can you make us believe you did not have your bank books with you?
But that’s not the worst part of this emotive episode. What really made me boil in unholy anger, hence this blow-off, was his answer to the question from a reporter in the crowd if he has forgiven the people who ousted his father. Oozing with self-righteous condescension he responded that those who drove his family out do not need to apologize to him and need not be forgiven because he does not take things personally. So now he has made himself into the victim and the Edsa people the victimizers of his family.
PBBM’s condescension on the people who suffered under martial law simply blows my mind. He has not returned what daddy stole from the country, has not atoned for the horrifying atrocities of martial law, yet now he says people don’t need to apologize because anyway he, the victim, does not take things personally. How smugly condescending and self-righteous is that when he should be asking forgiveness from the families of those his father’s minions arrested without warrant, kidnapped, tortured, caused to disappear or killed.
This revision of historical truth can happen only in the Philippines where democracy is rule by the elite, elections are won only by the elite, and justice is two-tiered, one for the rich and powerful and another for the poor and powerless.
To set the record straight, the Filipino people don’t need to apologize for ousting the dictator Marcos. It is the Marcos family that needs to apologize to them who were victims and not the victimizers PBBM is self-righteously painting them up.