This is an unpublished article by Krupskaya Añonuevo. Kay teaches German at the Ateneo High School, but will
once again be teaching at the UP Department of Psychology in the coming
school year .
…The plunderers will never be afraid of you, will never learn to respect you, and the plunderers will get away with it.
–former PCGG Commissioner Ruben Carranza
While former Commissioner Carranza said this in relation to pursuing a settlement with the Marcoses, I think this applies even more aptly to electing the Marcoses. While a son should not be crucified for the sins of his father, to repeatedly deny that Marcos Sr. never committed gross human rights violations and never stole from the country is reason enough NOT to vote for Bongbong, aka Marcos Jr.
But apart from denying the suffering Filipinos underwent during Martial Law and even lauding his father’s dictatorship, according to Carranza and Robles (an investigative journalist) Bongbong has profited and continues to profit from his family’s ill-gotten wealth. The unfortunate thing is his and his siblings’ enjoyment of what rightfully belongs to the Filipino nation goes on, 24 years after the Marcoses were removed from our country. He and his sisters are named beneficiaries of the multimillion dollar Swiss accounts of their parents and, as Robles documents (please check out http://raissarobles.com), Bongbong and siblings are still “pressuring the government to return the money his parents stole from the Filipino people.”
A couple of people I have talked to and several online users extol Bongbong for his achievements in Ilocos Norte. As written in various blogs and websites, he has “transformed Ilocos Norte into a first-class province, a major tourism destination, and a pioneer in harnessing wind power for energy.” As a Congressman, he also supposedly furthered these similar initiatives (i.e. focused development of Philippine tourism and the accelerated use of alternative sources of energy).
Assuming that these are all valid achievements, do these outweigh Bongbong’s being a Marcos? And all the baggage that comes with it?
Bongbong has been described as being his own man and being brilliant in his own right. However, in this case, we can never discount his family, his background. Case in point: how did Bongbong manage to be eloquent and well-educated? Isn’t his family’s long list of crimes responsible for his education, and the other privileges he has been given? We can enumerate his individual strengths and accomplishments all we want, but at the end of the day, in the case of Mr. Marcos (as well as the other candidates), we need to exercise sociological imagination. Instead of using an individualist orientation, we ought to shift our perspective and think about the historical and sociological meaning of the singular individual in society, particularly in the period in which he has his quality and his being (Mills, 1959). In other words, we need to think about what choosing Marcos Jr. means for our country.
Choosing to put a Marcos in the senate is a statement that what the Marcoses did was okay, that going after crooks doesn’t matter to us. That, as AKBAYAN has reminded us, “nine thousand five hundred thirty nine Filipinos being murdered or severely tortured” doesn’t mean anything. That stealing $10 billion from the country’s coffers is pardonable.
Unlike what PCGG Commissioner Abcede has been implying, going after the Marcoses, (which definitely includes NOT voting for them and telling other people not do so as well) does not mean having “vengeance in our hearts.” Forgiveness is a virtue, but in this case it would be pure stupidity. What we have in our hearts is not vengeance, Mr. Commissioner. It is justice.
But if sociological imagination is perhaps too much to ask, if going beyond the individual requires too much work, let’s consider the following then:
1) Bongbong has pending tax evasion cases (Robles, 04/28/10).
2) Bongbong says he hopes Senator Villar will allow the burial of his father in the Libingan ng mga Bayani because it is a “right” (PDI, 12/16/09).
3) Recently, Bongbong has denied desiring to become president when, in fact, he has trumpeted his presidential ambition as early as December of last year (AFP, 12/16/09).
Bongbong has said, “I’m proud of what my father was able to accomplish. But I will not do any good just by basking in his glory.” It seems that he’s already beginning to go above and beyond basking. The crimes, denials, and lies have begun.
He’s already following his father’s footsteps.
The question now is do we allow him to do so. We have to stop him from going any further.