Thursday, May 12, 2022

Philippine Politics

Once again, the Filipino people tried to exercise their right of suffrage. President Duterte's time has come to an end after six years. There were ten hopefuls for the Presidency and yet it boiled down to two contenders in the end. Leny Robredo and to my dismay, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. the youngest son of the dictator who put the country to a terrible twenty year reign. The conjugal dictatorship as they say referring to him and his wife, Imelda whose lavish ways from whom came the word, imeldific!

Seems like the Filipino people never learned their lesson. Not only was I disappointed when Rodrigo Duterte, believed to be another strongman who would introduce discipline to the citizenry with his machismo and ungentlemanly ways, was, of course, a disappointment. None of his promises came to fruition. Not his war on drugs, inspite of the unprecedented killings of drug addicts (not the drug lords, but sadly, the addicts - victims of a vice as old as man) his promise to ride a ski boat carrying the Philippine flag to denounce China (the opposite happened with him practically begging China to annex the country) and a lot more.

It was a long fight for Robredo, believed to be the most honest of the candidates. Even my eldest daughter, Kraig, would attend her rallies and be among the throngs of people showing support for the woman candidate. But lo and behold, Marcos has done his assignment or should I say, his assignment was done perfectly for him. In a systematic historical revisionism done years before the election by trolls in tik tok and Facebook, the lazy Filipino believed the Marcos years to be the golden years. And so it came to pass, Marcos never attended any of the debates claiming he did not have to when in fact he knew he would not be able to parry the attacks on him and his family like what happened to him when he was shamed by Cayetano when he was running for Vice President. He had not presented a true platform of government but just his endless pronouncements of unity, however vague it would seem. And yet, he emerged as victorious.

Two days after, news last night said that BBM is putting Sarah to head the Department of Education! Looks like military training or ROTC will be making a comeback based on her earlier pronouncements during the campaign. What a waste that will be. I have undergone PMT in high school and 4 sems of ROTC and not learned anything except reenforcing my knowledge of what is left from right, a knowledge I have acquired even before I became a boy scout during elementary days. I have also witnessed corruption first hand witnessing first hand how lists of paid cadets were being prepared as ghost platoons. Payment was made to the officers i.e. the Commandant who was a military man.

Thomas Jefferson once said, "you deserve the government you elect." The problem with that statement is that it only holds true for those who voted for the winners. I will have to wait and see. When this new government fails, and there is a strong possibility it will fail miserably, one cannot say, "i told you so!" Sadly, we all have to go down as failures, yet again and suffer the consequences of a poor, misinformed electorate, (like the one heard in the market from a stall owner in response to the complaint that prices are too high, "everything will change as we are about to re experience martial law! Prices shall return to that era!"), those who probably believed the lies of historical revisionism, those who voted for popularity vs. credentials, etc. i cannot say we are doomed this early. I pray I was wrong all along. For now, all I can say is that I used my right and I know in my heart, I have chosen well but lost.

I have engaged in gambling a couple of times. I have lost thousands of pesos in poker so I know how to lose. I am a graceful loser. I know how to accept defeat. I shall concede when I know I have been defeated - but only in a clean game. If I get news that Marcos has cheated (I know he did technically) rigging the outcome of the elections, I shall fight tooth and nail to set it right.