EDSA 1986: 36 Years Under Threat by Dictator’s Son

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Today, the world commemorates the day when thru People Power, Filipinos managed to oust a dictator, Ferdinand Marcos senior, from power. Thirty six years ago, a million Filipinos trooped to the Epifanio delos Santos avenue to guard reformist soldiers under the command of former Marcos associates Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Valdez Ramos. They had just broken from the grip of an ailing Marcos who refused to give up power despite the faulty results of a snap election that saw his opponent, Cory Aquino clearly winning against him. The break happened during an interregnum where opposition forces were on the verge of mounting the biggest public display of displeasure against the Marcoses.

The enormous show of public outrage forced the Marcoses to flee Malacanan but not after taking with them cartloads of treasures, gold bars, monies and designer shoes. Before a throng of people forcibly entered Malacanan, Marcos and his family and some of his cronies were able to escape via helicopter. US forces fetched them in a base controlled by the US government and sent to Hawaii. There, the dictator Marcos stayed until his death.

Thirty-six years hence, we find the namesake of the late dictator trying his hand on politics, a move described by many as a comeback. Many are asking why Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Junior wants the presidency. The scion of the Marcoses is nowhere near the skills, the intelligence, and the skills of his father. Bongbong conducts rallies after rallies using the slogan “pagkakaisa” that ironically used by his family’s political enemies during the campaign against his father.

Many are afraid of a Bongbong presidency, seeing that the motivation of the scion of the country’s most corrupted political dynasty is to try and salvage the reputation of their family, tarnished by 14 years of continuous plunder of the Philippines public coffers. Bongbong promises to do what his father did to the country–that is, break the monopolies of existing oligarchs and give these to their preferred ones. Break the spirit of small and medium-sized Flipino entrepreneurs and encourage the entry of foreign investors who are partners of the Marcoses and mask all these by creating small level conflicts to shift the attention of the poor masses.

During the time of Bongbong’s father, the Philippines entered into a debt trap to finance corrupted public works projects. Rising inflation and rising sovereign debt made the Philippines the sickest country in Asia. The increasing corruption in the military and police establishments nearly broke the security establishments.

 

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