2022 Philippine Elections

[OPINION] A Marcos presidency: A national security threat

Joel Pablo Salud

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

[OPINION] A Marcos presidency: A national security threat
'The times demand that we vote in the people's best interest, as it would be utterly devastating to do otherwise. Lives are at stake, futures hang in the balance.'

There is nothing that fully prepares us for the day we reap the whirlwind.

The reason for this quirk is that humans are in the habit of denying whatever consequences our actions may have shaped into being, more so when it does not suit our expectations. Bad things happen when we screw things up. But we tread on, regardless, and grab hold of a hope that would likely surprise us, inspire us, and maybe even help us wax poetic should such hopes ever come true.

By way of an example: a number of Filipinos view poverty through rose-tinted lenses, by believing that hard work makes for a good return on investment. This predisposition to rhapsodize even our darkest, unspeakable situations blunts any effort at dissent against the powers-that-be who openly, and without shame, have robbed us blind.

This is where hope works to our disadvantage. It veils our direct line of sight. It renders us incapable of deciding for ourselves and the larger community. It seizes our capacity to resist the thievery by being at ease with the scraps from the masters’ tables, just enough sprinkling of crumbs in our eyes to blind us from the truckloads of goods they’ve been filching all along.

We are a people robbed of its wealth for the longest time. We’ve been taught the lie that poverty is a social ill, with particular emphasis on the poor as the guilty party. “They’re lazy, irresponsible, reckless.” It’s an elaborate hoax, a sleight of hand that directs attention away from the corruption wedged between the government and the governed.

It is his fault that he is broke, they say, and thus mediocre, and by all standards, inferior.

The poor man, therefore, doesn’t belong to the “thinking class,” those who could spare hours and days in the quiet of his study to unbox the issues of the day. He has to work triple the hours to survive. While that may be sufficient to get the poor tired man the trickles to get by, anything he builds will be on shifting sands.

The poor man thus becomes negligible in the scheme of things, a trifling addition to the tens of thousands a pathological autocrat like Rodrigo Duterte would have no qualms slaughtering in the name of a bogus war on drugs.

What am I getting at? Simple: it would in no way be different if and when Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wins the 2022 elections. Given his preference for lies and his father’s despotic governance, atrocities would be par for the course under his watch.

Let’s face it: Marcos Jr. is nowhere near like his father. For all that Ferdinand E. Marcos was a brutal dictator with an indefatigable taste for power and stolen loot, he was no dimwit. He had full grasp of his mental faculties, his “genius” recognized even by his fiercest political rivals, however much he used it for his self-aggrandizing ways.

Junior, on the other hand, has little, if no accomplishment to begin with. This makes him dangerous in the main – a chief executive who could be led by the nose by the most unscrupulous of his advisers. A man swathed with power but with nothing between his ears has only his consent to offer as a value-added item to the highest bidder. This he would do regardless of consequences to the country.

There is no question, therefore, as to how he will deal with dissent and free speech. What his father had done – the wholesale persecution and closure of the independent press – he will seek to outdo if only to prove that he can. Years of “humiliation” stemming from their family’s ouster from power can do many things to a man like Junior, none of them good.

For starters, he will see to it that no airing of grievances would be possible. A man who had grown accustomed to the unsparing approval of his parents does not take criticism lightly. But unlike his father who closed down the independent press, Junior would resort to its modern-day version: legal loopholes and red-tagging via a well-paid army of lying trolls. That’s death to journalists in another language.

In order to prove that he could live outside his father’s shadow, Junior would then have to pay his way to make this wish a reality. On his own, it would be an impossibility. This would cost him an arm and a leg, given that he had been weighed and found wanting – by his own father, nonetheless, in a journal entry. The country’s coffers would then be his for the taking, Marcos Jr.’s own personal entitlement.

Should Junior win in the coming elections, his most colossal challenge – and there are two – would first be the country’s current crisis mode. The ever-stubborn pandemic, an economy in the doldrums, political institutions in ruins: there is much to fix. However, his cringe-worthy track-record promises nothing of the sort. Neither will Junior have the gumption to repair what Duterte had damaged in all of six years – our democratic institutions.

Impunity will be the reward for Duterte’s misplaced support for Marcos.

Second, there’s China.

Must Read

In dealing with ‘friend’ China, Marcos will set aside Hague win and US treaty

In dealing with ‘friend’ China, Marcos will set aside Hague win and US treaty

While the communist country’s role in the coming 2022 Philippine elections remains to be seen (I’m of the opinion that it would flex its muscles somehow), current geopolitical conditions in the West Philippine Sea would surely come into play. Junior had already articulated his “friendship” with the People’s Republic, leaving many the question: would China intervene for Marcos to win? If my understanding of geopolitics of this neurotic kind is correct, then it is almost certain that Filipinos will be the losers in this “deal.”

Must Read

Marcos Jr. to continue Duterte’s appeasement of China

Marcos Jr. to continue Duterte’s appeasement of China

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Philippines is at a crossroads of a major political tectonic shift. Voting a “good” president into office is not just another day at the wet market. The times demand that we vote in our best interest as it would be utterly devastating to do otherwise. Lives are at stake. Futures hang in the balance.

Choosing someone less likely to turn the country around from the ruins left by Duterte should be construed as a threat to national interest, thus to national security. We have fewer than 30 days to win this. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!