Look no further than the venerable Fidel Ramos — former Philippine president and Army general extraordinaire. Today, nobody seems to remember him as one of the key implementors of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos’s allegedly atrocious Martial Law regime. Why have people chosen to overlook Ramos’s past as a Martial Law chieftain? Simple. Because after the 1986 “revolution” he went on to become one of the Philippines’ better (if not the best of) presidents in the three decades that followed.
Ramos and his pal Senator Juan Ponce Enrile are living proof that ex-Martial Law leaders not only still have careers in Philippine politics they actually excel in leadership and statesmanship. The form of government following the 1986 “revolution” is, after all, a democracy. Indeed, so-called “activists” in Yellow shirts keep reminding us of that quaint fact, as a matter of fact. In short, Ramos and Enrile — ex Martial Law chieftains extraordinaire — are, nonetheless, leaders who were chosen by the Filipino people in this here democracy.
In that light, we can see the abject hollowness of the cornerstone argument applied by these “Never Again” bozos to the sorry excuse for “activism” they showcase to their cadre of lazy-brained sheep-like followers today. The object of their girly tantrums is centred around the the vice presidential candidacy of Senator Bongbong Marcos. According to those who chant the “Never Again” slogan ad infinitum, Senator Marcos has “no right” to be vice president of the Philippines — simply because “he is a Marcos”. And yet, these same activists call for an end to patronage and dynasty politics.
Holy inconsistency, Batman!
For these so-called “activists”, when it comes to “a Marcos”, blood is thicker than merit, apparently.
So much for the modern meritocracy Filipinos as a people aspire to be.
And that is where the moral ascendancy of these “Never Again” bozos comes apart. Their brand of activism is selective and, as such, medieval in nature. On one hand, they demonise certain candidates on the sole basis of their bloodlines but, on the other, decry the prevalence of dynastic power entrenched in Philippine society. Duh?!
Consider, as an example, the esteemed philosophers and theologians of the Ateneo who have taken it upon themselves to publicly accuse the Marcos family of “brutality”. They seem to have failed to learn their expensive classroom lessons well and defer to the body of thinking skills that forms the foundation of their educational training — a sound systematic development of theses by applying a rules-based subjection of a variety counter-theses in a cyclic manner that sustains a forward trajectory in the evolution of human knowledge as a matter of routine.
In their daft latching on to a flawed notion — that politicians are qualified or unqualified (or worse, forfeit their right) to run for public office on the basis of their bloodline — anti-Marcos “activists” have all but discredited their cause. Their argument against “a Marcos” crumbles thanks to this ill-conceived cornerstone in the conceptual framework of their “activism”.
Whether it is Martial Law or any other scandal (pork, sex, abject incompetence, whatever), ultimately it is the legal framework that qualifies a politician to run for office and it is the Filipino vote that determines who wins or loses.
It can’t be any simpler than that, really. Filipinos deserve a lot better than this sort of kiddie activism.
[Thumbnail photo courtesy Manila Bulletin.]
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