Take over the heritage of Marcos

The inauguration of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as President of the Philippines is highly controversial in the complex history of a country suffering from rampant corruption, lawlessness, and a drug eradication campaign that claimed the lives of at least 30,000 people. Open a period to brew.

Bongbong Marcos, widely known by his nickname, showed calm and courtesy after winning the presidential election in May by an overwhelming margin. However, his background suggests that he may have a hard time maintaining his appearance. Marcos’ father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., ruled half of his 21-year tenure under martial law, imprisoning tens of thousands of enemies in prison, of which thousands died. Finally, in February 1986, he was kicked out of “People Power Revolution”.

In 1986, I knew hundreds of thousands, at least one million, and in some cases two million, as Edsa, an acronym for Epiphanio de los Santos, a respected literary and politician a century ago. I saw it fill the 12-lane boulevard. ‘Expulsion. Like the 2016-2017 Korean Candlelight Revolution I witnessed every night, the Philippine People Power Revolution was bloodless and the results were very similar.

In South Korea, Park Geun-hye was impeached and imprisoned, and his successor, Moon Jae-in, was elected president for a five-year term. In the Philippines, the day Marcos fled on a U.S. Air Force plane, Corazon Aquino, the diplomatic leader of another family dynasty who won the “sudden election” that Marcos called, took office for a six-year term. ..

The comparison is very inaccurate, but there are similarities. Park spent almost five years in prison before Moon mercifully released her. Marcos and his extravagant wife, Imelda, and their two daughters and sons, went into exile in Honolulu, where Marcos died in 1989.

But when you look at what happened next in their lives, the comparison is completely over. In South Korea, Park Geun-hye quietly lives in Daegu, her home country, which was the power base of her longtime father, Park Chung-hee, who was assassinated in 1979. In the Philippines, Bongbong Marcos and his infamous mother receive a lot of support. Friends and associates have masterminded the resurrection of the Marcos dynasty. They enthusiastically revived the name of Marcos Sr. and convinced the masses of Filipino citizens that Marcos Sr. was a visionary figure who dominated the “Golden Age.”

The idea of ​​returning to the Malacanian, home of the Spanish governor, when Bongbong Marcos was a Spanish colony is annoying. While Bonbon himself projects a fairly harmless image, his mother, Imelda, still says she and her deceased husband have invested billions of dollars in bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere. under investigation. Bongbong Marcos is a political enemy, including the assassination of Corazon Aquino’s husband Beninho on August 21, 1983, when he was alighting at the Manila International Airport, which is now named for him. Also facing the legacy of the killing of. Of course, the killing caused a wave of protests that culminated in the downfall of Marcos and the election of Beninho’s widow.

Bongbong Marcos also bears a much more recent historical heritage. He is the successor to Rodrigo Duterte and is responsible for cracking down on drugs that are being investigated by the International Court of Justice for “crimes against humanity.” Marcos is worried about whether the Philippines will cooperate with the ICJ, but he is confident that the ICJ’s investigation will not go anywhere while he is pursuing the war on drugs.

It is impossible for Marcos to stay away from Duterte. Duterte is no longer president, but has perpetuated his name and power through his daughter Sarah, who was elected Vice President after serving as mayor of Davao, a large port city in southern Mindanao. Davao is home to the Duterte family. Sarah inherited from her father before becoming her president, and her younger brother took over her at the city hall.

Nepotism, which characterizes both the Marcos and Duterte dynasties, may not be so worried about whether the Philippines was peaceful and prosperous. However, Philippine media reports daily that power struggles are being assassinated among rival politicians and gangsters, even though nearly a quarter of the country’s 110 million people suffer from poverty. doing.

The Filipino word for these assassinations is “salvage,” which has been passed down since the American era when useless equipment was piled up in salvage dump trucks. As is often the case in the Philippines, he is said to have been “rescued” when someone was killed by a shooter who was speeding on a motorcycle. Bongbong Marcos, like his father and mother, may find that the path to wealth and power is to destroy your enemies.

Donald Kirk ( Writing from Seoul and Washington. Take over the heritage of Marcos

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