Home OPINION HOT & SPICY It’s always about them            

It’s always about them            

It’s always about them            

By Artchil B. Fernandez

Bongbong Marcos (BBM)’s trip to Davos, Switzerland last week was not a total waste of state resources. Something interesting was revealed in that Swiss sojourn of BBM which includes a coterie mix of 70 hangers-on, junketers, family members, relatives, staff, and officials.

During a dialogue with World Economic Forum (WEF) President Borge Brende, BBM revealed the real reason why he was in politics. “I was determined not to go into politics.  I said, why would I go into politics? My father has done everything in politics and the life [in politics] is difficult…” he told the audience. He was forced to go to politics due to the need “to defend ourselves politically.”

“After we came back from the United States, after exile, when we were first allowed to come back, the political issue was Marcos,” BBM said. “And for us, we, for us to defend ourselves politically, somebody had to enter politics and be in the political arena. So that at least, not only the legacy of my father but even our own survival required that somebody go into politics,” he confessed.

Unable to restrain himself, BBM also used the occasion to push the lie and falsehood of his family. He claimed their ouster through People Power Revolt in 1986 and exile “were dark days for the family and I dare say even for the country.”

The admission by BBM that he and his family are in politics to defend themselves shattered the much-hyped public service commitment of the Marcoses. In the last 30 years, the Marcoses professed “profound love” for public service and the Filipino people. Widespread is the lie that the dictator, Marcos senior vowed to leave all his worldly possessions to the Filipino people.

Now BBM admitted to an international audience they are in politics not for public service but for self-service. As the old Filipino adage says, “a fish is caught in the mouth.” It’s always about them, not the Filipino people.

No wonder when BBM sought the presidency he never bothered to craft a clear and coherent vision for the country. He never outlined his plans for the nation. His platform is a single word – unity. The word is used vaguely that nobody knows, including BBM what “unity” stands for in terms of governance, economic and social development or foreign policy.

Why bother make a platform of government when the purpose of capturing public office is to advance a personal agenda? BBM’s the trip to Davos, Switzerland was not about seeking investments for the country. Official purpose was merely a smokescreen to the real intention of the trip – peddle the Marcos alternative “facts” and distort history. It was not to re-introduce the Philippines to the world but to push and sell the Marcos lies to international forums and gatherings.

Describing the ouster of his family from power as “dark days” for his family and the country is another subtle but shameless attempt of BBM to distort history and whitewash the evils deeds inflicted on the Filipino nation during the 20-year rule of the Marcos family. The picture that BBM tries to paint is the Marcoses are “good” people driven from power through an elite conspiracy. They were presiding over a “Golden Age” era characterized by bliss, peace, and prosperity cut-short by people power. They were persecuted after driven into exile, the tear-jerker lie of the Marcoses goes.

As in any lie, the Marcoses tried to make their falsehood palatable by removing their story from its context. What is the context or the social milieu of the Marcos ouster in 1986? What forced millions of Filipinos not only in EDSA but in the whole archipelago to rise in 1986 to drive the Marcoses from power?

Philippines in the dying years of the Marcos dictatorship was in a very bad shape. In 1985, unemployment was 12.6 percent and inflation at 23.2 percent. Poverty incidence was 49 percent, nearly half of the population. In 1984 and 1985, the GDP contracted to negative 7.32 percent and negative 7.04 percent respectively. It was not a “Golden Age” but an “Age of Depravity.”

This was the context of the removal of the Marcos family from power. Filipinos had enough of the acute economic crisis, the widespread and systematic corruption, and brutal human rights violations during the dictatorship of Marcos senior. The social condition of their overthrow was omitted by the Marcoses and restricted the whole episode a personal experience to obscure and erase the truth behind People Power revolt.

The claim of persecution is also blatant falsification of the actual events. Charges were filed in courts against the Marcoses to make them accountable for their misdeeds. Filing cases in court against criminals is not persecution but judicial remedy for crimes and injustice. The Marcoses are not victims but perpetrators of crimes.

It also defies common sense when the Marcoses claim that their rule was a “Golden Age” yet they were removed from power. If their reign was time of economic boom why would majority of Filipinos drive them away? It does not make sense that a ruling regime is overthrown while presiding over an age of prosperity and opulence. So far, the Marcoses had not provided concrete data and evidence of their “Golden Age.”

The whole Marcos enterprise, their entry into politics is all about them. Public service or genuine concern for others had nothing to do with their political involvement. The Marcos project is about rehabilitating their badly tarnished public image while avoiding accountability and evading responsibility for their numerous wrongdoings. It is not surprising that BBM spends more time refurbishing their sullied reputation than governing the nation.