May 1, 2022 (11:02 PM)

4 min read


We are approaching a possibility of another dark era in our country with the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. topping the charts in his bid for presidency.

Marcos Jr. is leading with an overwhelming support from the masses. In figures, the Pulse Asia survey on March 17 to 21 reported that 56 percent of the voters preferred Marcos Jr., while lagging behind him was Vice President Leni Robredo with only 24 percent.

If the late dictator’s son and namesake grabs hold of the highest seat in the land, we can expect the next six years to be led by:

A president with no concrete plans and relies on chicanery for the most part. We bear witness to how, among the many presidential debates he was invited to, he was only able to attend one—the one being hosted by SMNI News Channel, owned by his ally Apollo Quiboloy. His absence speaks a lot about how he treats public forums, discussions, and media in general. 

Ultimately, he is complacent and plays safe, forming strategic alliances with some media outlets that he could use for his political machinery. A media outlet that is, in essence, operating as a puppet and mouthpiece for the president is the final nail in the coffin of our already dying democracy and press freedom.

Admittedly, not attending debates on Marcos Jr.’s part is a smart move because he banks on his supporters’ blind fanaticism, cheering him on as the “Cheetah” who doesn’t need to debate with the second placers for presidency. Because when he does show up, he winds up performing poorly the same way he did in 2016, risking his lead and smearing his campaign. Thus, his highfalutin promises of “unity” and “sama-sama tayong babangon muli” are just that—bravado and lacking substance, because Marcos Jr. himself refuses to explain his platforms and concrete plans once elected as president.

A president who banks on his army of trolls and revises history. The success of Marcos Jr.’s campaign relies heavily on his army of trolls, aiming to peddle misinformation drives that benefit him. In fact, he is the biggest beneficiary of misleading posts which helped boost his campaign, in contrast with his rival Robredo, who is the biggest disinformation victim.

Social media indeed plays a huge role in manipulating the narrative. A simple video or image that claims a certain “fact” can be regarded as an actual fact because most don’t bother checking the sources of such a claim. The scope and reach of information is also wide, and often, it is difficult to keep track of where they do come from.

Marcos Jr. uses this double-edged feature of social media to his advantage. Because the younger generation may not be aware of the atrocities of his father’s regime, as the Martial Law years are rarely taught in schools, he launches misinformation drives to revise history, painting the darkest years in the country as its “golden years.”

Once he successfully revises history, collective amnesia follows, with people forgetting how cruel and corrupt the Marcos administration was. And again, history repeats itself.

A president who abuses his position and power to get away with his family’s ill-gotten wealth. Various reports could not provide an actual amount of the Marcos family’s unexplained wealth, with estimates that could go up to 30 billion USD. Despite recovery efforts of the Presidential Commission on Good Government of the family’s and their cronies’ ill-gotten wealth, the Sandiganbayan convicting Imelda Marcos as guilty on seven counts of graft, and estate tax liability amounting to 203.8-billion pesos, not one of the Marcoses and their cronies spent a day in prison.

Rappler writer Philip M. Lustre, Jr. perfectly described the biggest heist in the Philippines as, “The lesson in history seems to be that crime pays. When one steals, he has to steal big to buy his freedom.” Can we really trust a president whose family thinks that they are higher than the laws of the land?

With another Marcos in power, our country will inevitably fall into years of turmoil, uncertainty, and destabilization. Let us exhaust all means to prevent Marcos Jr. and his family from ruling the country and abusing their powers to orchestrate another huge heist that will cripple our still suffering country because of their past atrocities. Never again, never forget! 

The article was previously published in the Election Issue 2022 of Atenews. Read it here:

End the silence of the gagged!

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