In his piece today “A discomforting realization about democracy”, Inquirer columnist Manuel L Quezon III ponders the “formerly unthinkable” — that given the way things have come down over the last few months that the administration of Philippine President Bongbong Marcos “represents the democratic center in our national life. And may do so, for the foreseeable future.”
Whether it’s the United States or the European Union, Japan, or Australia, the democratic verdict has been accepted and what President Marcos has done is bring back the Philippines to that place in the world order in which it formerly, respectably, and credibly, existed: as a supporter of democracy, and the cooperation, stability, and security that comes from accepting international law and human rights.
The Marcoses as the center in Philippine politics? All because of what he has done so far? I don’t think so. Marcos is just out for the validation of the Western powers. It’s all about reestablishing the brand or the name, depending on how you look at it. At the same time, their comeback couldn’t have come at a better time. The Opposition is dead. There is no credible opposition anymore because of the Yellowidiots’ inability to admit their mistakes and adjust accordingly. The oligarchs have also evolved towards forming corporate political parties, such as that of former Senate President Manny Villar and ICTSI chairman Enrique Razon. The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is following in this path only because Danding Cojuangco is dead and Ramon Ang isn’t a politician.
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But think of the events of the past month. Vice President Inday Sara Duterte has been blown out of the water. Former President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte (PRRD) has been threatened with the International Criminal Court (ICC). Amnesty for rebels has been declared again. Peace talks with the almost dead Reds are on again.
This early, Marcos is already busy building his legacy as leader and statesman. The Marcos-Romualdez (House Speaker Martin Romualdez specifically comprising the latter) combine have cut down the Dutertes to size. In their mind, they weren’t a real match because of their provenance. The Dutertes don’t have any. The Marcoses are part of the elite and have generational wealth.
What prodded Digong to diss Marcos after he declared he was running was the late President Feedinand “Apo Lakay” Marcos’s betrayal of his father in the 1967 congressional election in Davao. Marcos Sr. picked Alejandro Almendras over Vicente Duterte. The Dutertes present the last credible threat to the Marcoses politically so they had to be eliminated as rivals. What better way than to embrace their enemies in a tactical alliance? The Yellowidiots and the Reds are rejoicing now!
The only hope the Dutertes have is the people. At this point, there are only two options; retreat and surrender or fight it out and see how much public support they still have. There is no such thing as ideology in Philippine politics. Only permanent interests. It can be said though that among the post-Marcos presidents, only PRRD had the best interest of the Filipino at heart.
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