Some of the most scathing pieces I’ve ever written were against the Marcoses. And I have done so since my college days in UP and to this day, decades later.
I continue to think of them as the perfect examples of unbridled greed, lust for power and excesses in public office. This family of plunderers and murderers took the light out of many a Filipino’s eyes and they stole our bright future away from us.
And it has taken us so long to get out of the mess they created because that mess was deep and long and wide.
In truth, I didn’t think I would see even just the light at the end of the tunnel in my lifetime. The theft of not just our country’s coffers but, too, of its very soul has been so complete and so thorough. Kahit barya, walang iniwan.
To this day, I think the twin legacies of the Marcoses to the Filipino people are generational poverty and systemic and systematic corruption.
This has been the one HUGE thorn on my side where Rodrigo Duterte is concerned: how he seems to have a blind side for one of the most corrupt families of the country (side by side with the Aquinos, by the way.) And I continue to hold our President responsible for whatever the outcome of his dalliances with this family will be.
And if the son of the despised dictator, Ferdinand Marcos Jr ever becomes Vice President of this land, I know my heart will break into a million pieces and I will need to go to a dark room and gather my children in my arms and I will need to cry my apologies to them for having failed them so thoroughly.
And this is where Leni Robredo amazes me.
She has accomplished in me what I didn’t think any human being, dead or alive, could ever accomplish: she has made the idea of a VP Ferdinand Marcos a little less galling than it would have ordinarily been had she not sat as VP in the short 6 or so months that she has, thus far, sat.
Her shocking and woeful incompetence—how she gets nothing done—not even the simplest of things like meet up with her subordinates, her indifference to the plight of the poor, her duplicity—how comfortable she is in lying and creating and maintaining a façade, how she doesn’t seem to have one sincere bone in her body.
How loyalty to her party far outweighs what should have been her loyalty to the Filipino people. Her lust for power is breathtaking and in the guise of nobility: she has barely warmed her seat as VP and already she is gunning for the top post of the land. The Vice Presidential post, where there is enough power to get drunk on, isn’t enough for Leni Robredo.
She is out of touch with the very people she swore to serve. And she hasn’t served.
And yet she’s had the gall to listen to the seductions whispered to her by those who’d like to use her as stepping stone to shore up their sagging political fortunes. And they have made her believe that yes, you can do it. You can be President of this land! NOW! And so she’s had the temerity to think herself good enough to be President of this land.
And all this in the backdrop of fantastic approval ratings for the President’s performance and her own dismal-as-hell approval ratings.
Amazing really. All I can do is shake my head in the wild amazement of Leni Robredo’s chutzpah. (Chutzpah, by the way, is a nicer word for ‘kapal ng mukha’)
So yeah, you can very well bet, whether she sits as VP or whether the dictator’s son does, makes no fucking difference to me. Both are the bitterest cups of poison I would need to drink from.
And for which I will dance barefoot, under a full moon, and sprinkle myself with ashes from a burned frog and sing incantations that will protect the President of this land so he finishes his 6 year term with not one scratch on his body.