Third in a series
Following the journey of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is like gazing at two personalities: Ferdinand, the son of a President who played a significant part of Philippine history during the Martial Law days, and Ferdinand, the accomplished politician, who served various capacities in public service at an early age.
The genetic and political underpinning is so ensconced in his persona that voters will not be able to separate one from the other. Ferdinand Jr. aka BBM will always be associated with his father/dictator whose ill-gotten wealth remains as one of the nation’s largest controversy. At the same time, BBM can be remembered as a public servant who served his bailiwick province by way of authoring or sponsoring 54 bills that have been passed into law, including the Cybercrime Law, the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, Expanded Senior Citizens Act, Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and Solo Parents and Their Children’s Welfare Act. BBM also served as Vice Governor at the age of 23 and was a three-term Governor of Ilocos Norte before becoming a legislator.
As BBM has decided to gun for the presidency, nowhere in his recent media interviews can we find any answer much less any query raised as to what made him decide to run! While we are still at the dawn of the campaign period, the motivation in BBM’s quest for the highest position in the land will unfold at the cusp of the May 2022 polls. Perhaps, Marcos Jr. is probably counting on his votes during the 2016 elections when he competed for the vice presidency. His camp seems confident that those who voted for him for VP before will vote for him for President. Marcos loyalists are purportedly staunch supporters until the end. With the loyalist votes presumably intact, this country might see another Marcos back in Malacañang. After all, the other known presidentiables do not enjoy a solid voting block unlike BBM. The others in the hunt are actually splitting the opposition votes.
The profile of BBM may have already woven the makings of a President into the woof and warp of his political fabric. He was schooled abroad and is married to a lawyer from a prominent political clan. His credentials, education and experience, allow this presidential aspirant to speak confidently, practically commanding authority and clout. Armed with this confidence, BBM may also have that “killer instinct” in his blood (meaning, a hard and decisive stance as opposed to a soft heart) to thwart perennial ills like insurgency and drugs. It’s a coin toss to attribute such ruthless confidence to his genes or to his individual feat. Either way, one side works to his advantage while the other works to his irremediable inconvenience. In one interview, BBM intends to be a “unifying” president—a tough undertaking considering that the “flock of sheep” that he expects to unite has the hormones of a growing teenager—moods, emotions, and impulses. While the Solid North remains beating fiercely red, those opposed to the Marcoses have solidified all the more in recent years. For instance, as soon as BBM announced his presidential bid, two contrasting hash-tags: #BBMismypresident and #NeverAgain trended on social media. The unification plans for these polar opposites can be the toughest sell of his campaign team!
Incidentally, BBM will have to deal with a sizeable number of “lactose-intolerant” people—those who have previously experienced “abdominal cramps” from drinking “cow’s milk” of the previous Marcos regime! This same group of people, out of fear of taking “cheese” from the same Marcos dairy product containing “lactose”, will definitely be against BBM. To them, the sin of the father is the sin on the son. To them, any Marcos will always be of the same kind, with the same dictatorial blood!
But who knows, we might be in for a surprise if ever BBM will be given a chance to atone for the dark days of Martial Law. The Marcos family has been dethroned, ostracized, and vilified for the longest time. The name has been associated with terms like thieves, murderers, and human rights violators. Almost any person given a chance to redeem the name of his family and prove his detractors wrong would likely exert best efforts to make things right! With his credentials and decisive stance, coupled with a lofty dream of unity, BBM ought to crow like a rooster! He does not need to wait and see the light of a new day like a rooster’s internal clock! As BBM believes it is time to take that seat in Malacañang, he should, however, be cautioned for a rooster crowing also denotes a sense of evasion or denial.
On several occasions, he was asked to apologize for all the wrongdoings committed during his father’s regime. And yet not in one instance did he act contrite. BBM recently revealed that he would only apologize for the wrong things that he himself did, but not for those that anybody else did. Such actuation, to me, is an evasion or denial in light of former President Benigno Aquino III’s reservation that: “If he [BBM] can’t see what his family did wrong, how will we know that it won’t happen again?”
On the matter of denials, we see the Biblical disciple Peter in BBM’s “denial” of any association with his father’s transgressions. Peter denied any association with Jesus Christ when asked on three separate occasions (as we can read from James 18: 17-27). Jesus had predicted that Peter would disavow Him three times, “Verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice” (John 13:36-38). Like the disciple Peter, most of us are surrounded with subtle suggestions to deny our faith. For instance, when we consent to a dishonest business deal or when we fail to stand for what is right and good can serve as denials of our faith. The experience of Peter teaches us the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” BBM might have that privileged position due to his genes. Believers as well stand in that privileged position in Christ, yet we are reminded not to be complacent in our walk of faith, lest we fall into sin.
Should BBM win and he adopts an attitude of eschewing that which is evil and seeks to do what is righteous in the eyes of God, perhaps the rooster will cease from crowing.
A former infantry and intelligence officer in the Army, Siegfred Mison showcased his servant leadership philosophy in organizations such as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Malcolm Law Offices, Infogix Inc., University of the East, Bureau of Immigration, and Philippine Airlines. He is a graduate of West Point in New York, Ateneo Law School, and University of Southern California. A corporate lawyer by profession, he is an inspirational teacher and a Spirit-filled writer with a mission.
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