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MANILA, Philippines – Where there’s politics, there’s art, as art can serve as clever and accessible criticism of government policies and other related issues. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s rise to the presidency and his actions during his first year in office were thus natural fodder for local artists, and social media was prime ground for exhibiting their works.
Below are a few choice comic strips and illustrations from the past 12 months that capture the biggest concerns among citizens during the Marcos administration:
After getting elected, it didn’t take long for the Marcos family to start partying again in Malacañang, reminding citizens of the original Marcos couple’s decadent, disco-dancing heyday.
Since taking office, Marcos also immediately started taking trips around the world in the name of diplomacy, doing it so often, and with such eyebrow-raising company, that he could very well have been a more questionable Carmen Sandiego.
The tax evader
Marcos has served as the main endorser of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) campaign on paying the right taxes, but ironically, his family has yet to comply with a tax deficiency estate tax assessment issued by the BIR in 1991. While the amount was originally pegged at P23 billion, it is estimated to have ballooned to over P203 billion.
The Maharlika Fund proponent
The Maharlika Fund proposal, of which Marcos is a fierce proponent, has recently hurdled the Senate. It will mainly get seed capital from government banks, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and other government revenue sources “to promote socio-economic development,” but many citizens are very skeptical and foresee a huge corruption scandal.
The iffy appointer
It seemed to take forever for Marcos Jr. to appoint a health secretary under his administration – but when he finally did, his choice, Ted Herbosa, had a not-so-healthy reputation that far preceded him.
His insistence on also staying on as the agriculture secretary – yes, while also serving as President of the Philippines – can be confounding, to say the least.
The Cha-Cha dancer
In February this year, Marcos downplayed the need to revise the 1987 Constitution to attract foreign investments, but any whiff of charter change makes experts nervous, as they deem the venture not just unnecessary, but far too risky. When it comes to Cha-Cha, then, all eyes are on the President as to where he will ultimately stand.
The disinformation peddler
Marcos, who benefited the most from disinformation in the 2022 presidential polls, has recently announced a “media and information literacy campaign” that will be digital and “youth-oriented.” Fortunately, some citizens are quick to call the President out when he makes the usual dubious or historically revisionist statements.
The rabid followers
Finally, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos is not immune to criticism, either. When she claimed that she was a member of the New York State Bar Association, some citizens suspected, “like husband, like wife,” recalling Marcos Jr.’s infamous Oxford “special diploma,” among other dubious achievements.
What kind of art will Marcos inspire in his next year in office? Let’s stand by on social media for the next batch of creative commentary! – Rappler.com