It is beyond comprehension how some people try to hold Congressman Ferdinand Marcos II (Bongbong) “responsible” for his father’s declaration of Martial Law almost 40 years ago especially now that he is running for Senator. Bongbong was barely fifteen years old when Martial Law was declared in 1972 not to mention he was in England attending to his schooling, perhaps, worrying about tickets for the Rolling Stones concert as most youngsters his age were concerned with or the likes of it. As for the entire period of the controversial Marcos Rule, it would be best to leave to historians the rendering of a dispassionate accounting of that period in the history of our nation when President Marcos was at the helm of government. In fact, history is now looking at those Marcos years more favorably because of the twenty-four years post-Marcos that have seen very little change if not a deterioration of the living standards of most Filipinos as well as a decline in the quality of basic services including education.
Bongbong Marcos, in fairness, has declared that he is ready to be judged by the voters not based on anyone’s actions nor on his father’s achievements for that matter, but based on his own performance the last 15 years he has been in public office – nine years as Governor of Ilocos Norte and six years as Representative of the 2nd district of the same province. Bongbong’s sterling performance during his years in public service, and the remarkable transformation of the province of Ilocos Norte under his leadership — from 3rd to 1st class, health insurance for the entire population of the province, infrastructure, and the first windfarm in Southeast Asia, etc. — speak for themselves; and should the voters decide based on his track-record, then he will surely be voted to the Senate in the coming elections, half a century after the late President Ferdinand Marcos was first elected to the same post. And as the sun rises in the east, so also will the son from the north.
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In 1986, Corazon C. Aquino took over the reins of government on grand promises of a better future for our country. Six years later, she stepped down as mandated by the constitution and supported the candidacy of Fidel Ramos who acceded to power and led the nation for another six years. After Ramos came the election of Erap with the largest margin of votes since the multi-party system was adopted in the 1987 constitution. Two and a half years into his Presidency, Erap was unconstitutionally ousted and GMA became the de facto President, again, with the support of Cory and her family and the “political church.” Nine years of GMA and 24 years since Cory came into power, where do we find the Philippines today in terms of: poverty alleviation; job availability in the domestic work-place for our workers; quality of education; human rights violations particularly against media practitioners; peace and order; and corruption in government? Senator Aquino, Cory, Kamaganak Inc, and the rest of the yellow brigade have supported all those that have been in power since 1986 (except for the 2 1/2 years of Erap) and look where we are now? Sure, we need change but another Aquino, again, looks like more of the same. In fact, Noynoy was not even considered by HIS OWN party-mates qualified to be their veep candidate much less standard bearer until… the opportunists saw the potential of the crowd that mourned Cory’s death. Ituloy ang laban against what and for whom? For the very few rich to get richer and the majority poor to get poorer?! Who are they trying to fool? Don’t answer that….
By now, at this stage of the campaign, one would have thought that governance and platform issues would have become more defined and taken front stage in the debates among the presidential candidates but what has happened is the main debate between the two leading candidates involves whether one was really poor during his childhood and if so, how poor. Villar insinuated through his commercials that he could solve the problem of poverty because he had once been poor and Noynoy fell for it. Jeeez!
First of all, whether one has experienced poverty or not does not make one’s understanding of that problem more comprehensive, much less, imbue one with the will and capability of solving it. Villar and Aquino should have listened more closely to Gibo when he put it squarely, succinctly, and intelligently in the form of an analogy: an oncologist need not have had cancer to be able to skillfully and capably treat a cancer patient. So, what’s the big deal between these two guys — wasting the time of voters arguing uselessly and endlessly about things that are irrelevant to the solutions to the country’s enormous problems such as poverty alleviation? Voters should look at how “rich” or “poor” the candidate’s performance and track record has been in public service.
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