Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is a man on a mission. He wants to stop the country’s skidding and falling off the edge of the cliff where BS Aquino’s straight path has taken it. Some say we are actually already in the abyss. High unemployment, poverty, runaway crime, official corruption, inefficient public transport system are only some of the myriad problems besetting the country under PNoy’s watch. Is it any wonder there are at least six presidential candidates who think they can do better than Aquino who’s on the way out?
So far, however, it has only been Senator Bongbong Marcos who has spelled out his vision for the country. The senator, in a speech before Asia’s CEOs and captains of industry, gave a roadmap of what his government would be like in case he decides to join the 2016 presidential race. There are strong indications he will because there is a clamor.
A Marcos run for president in 2016 does not only look possible. His prospects of winning are actually gaining traction given the unfolding events in the political situation and a field of presidential candidates that do not give voters much of a choice.
He is also driven to redeeming the Marcos name. Redemption is a consuming passion that propelled him into politics. In a way, the Marcos brand in Philippine politics has never lost its luster even after the family was driven into exile after the 1986 People Power revolution. Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos is congresswoman representing the Second District of Ilocos Norte, daughter Imee Marcos is the province’s governor, while Bongbong Marcos won nationwide mandate for a seat in the Senate where he has shown his mettle as chairman of the committee on local government. This committee reviewed and revised the constitutionally flawed Bangsamoro Basic Law being pushed by the Aquino administration. The Ilocos Norte legislator submitted a substitute bill to the BBL which will be taken up for debate in Senate plenary.
Of the Marcos siblings, only Irene Marcos shunned politics. The matriarch, Imelda, is 86 years old and there are only two things she would like to see in her lifetime. First is to have her husband Ferdinand Marcos buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. This is a matter of family honor which Ferdinand Edralin Marcos deserves as a former President and a war hero but denied by BSA III.
Imelda’s second wish is to see Bongbong not only become president of the Republic but redeem the family name by being the true leader this country desperately needs.
There are divergent views on how former President Marcos handled the internal security threat then facing the nation during those perilous times of his presidency. Detractors say the New People’s Army’s number grew during Marcos’ time when the reality on the ground was that he had the situation under control even as he was dealing simultaneously with a secessionist movement in the South. When seen in light of the present Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Abu
Sayyaf rampage, it would seem FM handled the Muslim insurgency more firmly than his successors did. Marcos, the strongman, drove Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari into exile in Libya, refusing to yield an inch of the national territory to the Muslim rebels. Compare this to Aquino’s government negotiators who gave away too many concessions to the MILF in order to sign a peace treaty at all costs.
1972 Isabela arms landing
Speaking of internal threats, there is an interesting footnote to the MV Karagatan attempted weapons landing in Digoyo Point off the coast of Isabela in July 1972. It was an NPA operation to arm communist rebels for an all-out offensive against the government and not a Marcos-orchestrated plot to justify martial law as his detractors claim. But for stormy weather and gale-force winds that lashed northern Isabela and sank the ship, the rebels would have advanced to Manila. The clandestine cargo containing thousands of rifles was discovered when the crates spilled into the sea with some drifting ashore.
Aside from AFP renegade Victor Corpuz, a former member of the leftist group Kabataang Makabayan also revealed his role in the Karagatan incident. I have no reason to doubt the story of this former KM militant given his active participation in student street protests during the tumultuous seventies and his eventual exile to communist China where he stayed for six years.
I have decided to withhold his name for now and wait for the publication of a book which devotes a chapter on the Karagatan arms landing in Isabela as well as never-told or -known stories about the Marcoses.