July 25, 2009

Remaking Bongbong Marcos

(REP. Bongbong Marcos, center, enjoys a walk on the beach near the Bangui windfarm with his family, from left: Joseph Simon, Mrs. Louise Araneta Marcos, Ferdinand Alexander and William Vincent. Photo courtesy PRISM)

When the Marcoses got booted out of power in 1986 after their 20-year hold on the Philippines, one of the very first videotaped images of the family we were treated to was of Bongbong, his siblings and friends dressed up in funny costumes, with champagne glasses in hand, singing “We are the World,” aboard the presidential yacht. In another, we watch the President and his wife boogeying aboard the same yacht.

It was with this frame of mind that I attended the lunch with Bongbong Marcos. But wait! Is it even the real Bongbong Marcos? After all, the Marcoses’ only son was said to have died in London and replaced by a nephew who looks exactly like him. Hmmm.... (Click Something Like Life for the rest.)

(Erratum: Liza Araneta-Marcos is not an only child. She has three other sisters and a brother. My apologies to the Araneta and Marcos families for this error.)

* * * *

Other points raised during our lunch:

• Yes, Rep. Bongbong Marcos is thinking of running for president someday. “I’m in this career, so of course, I would like to take it as far as I can. You always want to be better, more successful in your career. But I don’t wake up each morning, planning on what I should do today to become president.”

• He is considering to run as senator in 2010: “After 19 years as governor, vice-governor, and representative of Ilocos Norte, I believe I am now more than ready to serve on the national stage.”

(Official photo courtesy PRISM)

• He's still undecided what national party to join, and why it probably won't be the Liberal Party, the original party of his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos: “In the LP, I keep telling Mar (Roxas), he’s my only friend there. The other members continue to oppose my family.”

• As senator, his advocacies will be: “To bring us back to the basics ¬– greater public investment in infrastructure, health services, education, peace and order, political stability and implementing an understandable system of government.”

• Why he supports wasn't vocal in his opposition versus Charter Change: "There's just a sense of futility. You know nothing will happen anyway....I support Charter Change in principle but it should be done after the [2010] election. The fear is the process will be used to extend their (GMA and his fellow congressmen) term. But it (Con-Ass) will not succeed, because there’s no time. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try.”

• On why GMA won't be able to declare Martial Law: "She doesn't have the support of the military like my father did. When my father declared martial law, he had just been re-elected, he was popular and he had control of the military."

• On a popular uprising vs Cha-Cha: "There's no such thing as a popular uprising. Even if you look at the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution, these were led by an elite few, academics.... [The Edsa people power in 1986] was done by the Americans."

• He hasn't decided whom to support for president in 2010: "I consider all of them good friends and political allies."


Anonymous said...

Good luck Bongbong on your candidacy as Senator,
I am with you.

Ado Paglinawan said...

bongbong will be one of 12 elected senators if unlike his mother, he campaigns seriously.

he does not need the makabayans to win. in fact the makabayans have more to worry getting elected.

to be senator, one needs a cushion of at least 12 million votes.

bongbong has his captive national votes. in fact, all he has to do is make good in metro manila and his election will be a cinch.

1. objectively speaking, bongbong has been one of the top governors since he first landed the post. this is not a pitch for him. during my stint in the agriculture department as a consultant to the secretary, one of the most frequent visits we had was to various points in ilocos norte. why, the launching of serious programs for the farmers were not openly well-planned but well-executed. i discerned a definite political will.

2. the way he saved his province from an ecological and agricultural disasater is not well-known. but is definitely a classic anecdote. due to el nino, the water tables of ilocos were drying up and sea water was starting to seep in. this was not only disastrous to farming, especially the tobacco industry, but also to inland fisheries.

tobacco's nemesis is salt. when the tobacco plant ingests saltwater, it will still grow, it will still dry but the leaves will not allow a continuous burning for the smoker. in short, underground siltation of saltwater from the sea will kill our entire tobacco industry. this is why it became not only em emergency situation for ilocos but for the entire departm,ent of agriculture.

3. together with the department of public works, the department of environment and local government units, Governor Marcos, the provincial government and DA, embarked on a massive building of water impounding systems in the highlands of ilocos. artificial dams were created to delay the flow of rainwater from the mountains onto china sea.

4. Bongbong led the whole exercise. where his province and local people were short, he begged for collaboration from national offices and the private sector. where the most expensive factor was massive labor, his direct hand in campaigning for volunteers became pivotal. the whole infrastructure did not resort to foreign loans, but just indigeneous and networked resources, collected through his leadership.

5. i thought that was the end of it. when the water impounding systems were nearly completed. he came with another idea - plant tilapia fingerlings into them. in ilocos today, poor and rich alike can buy the fish (palm-size) averaging Php55 per kilo.

i can mention more but i do not want to appear campaigning here for him. sa totoo lang.

many may not like bongbong because his voice sounds like his father that many have learned to hate, but here is one man who does not need the credentials of his parents to be elected to a national position. he has the credentials, hard-earned at that, and one that can stand on his own merits and concrete achievements for the benefit of his constituents.

the perspective of the senate will be enhanced and made comprehensive with bongbong's perpectives in its chambers. if we can have demagogues, movie personalities, octogenarians, homosexuals, communists, incontinents, autistics, bone heads, and jokers there, bongbong's creativity and experience will be a welcomed improvement of the upper house.

his election will also de-sensitize a lot of the polarity and animosity in philippine politics between the marcos loyalists and the yellow army.

Ado Paglinawan

Jina Andaya said...

Too bad, I'm a teacher so I can't campaign for him. But I've been telling everything that moves that Bongbong Marcos is the ONLY senator that I will vote for.

Anonymous said...

Go sen. Bongbong.....please run as a president!! we will support you....

Anonymous said...

BBM would make a good senate president or even a better vice-president. He might even make a fine president. BBM has demonstrated himself as a builder. He creates and transforms. Just take a look at what he has done in Ilocos. With sincerity, goodwill, and conversion of heart, the Marcos name might be worthy again of this naton's people. Its character and its honor. May God bless him and his family. Peace!