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Who is Bongbong Marcos?

IMG_3476 bongbong (167x250)BY GREG CASTILLA – Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., who is running for vice president in next year’s elections, has recently criticized the Aquino administration for not releasing the P923 million allocated for the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
Bongbong explained, “The sad thing is that the government could have used these funds to help disaster survivors. This smacks of not only insensitivity to the plight of the disaster survivors but also negligence of duty.”
I was taken aback by what Bongbong said. The son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos had the gall to lambast the Aquino administration for being insensitive when the same criticism can be hurled back at him for his lack of sensitivity to the countless victims of his father’s Martial law regime.
Ang dali niya namang makalimot. (How can he quickly forget?)
Remember his response when asked to comment on his father’s martial law regime: “What am I to say sorry about?”
This is the problem with Bongbong. He continues to deny his father’s wrongdoings in his attempt to sanitize the evil that was Martial Law.
He said, “Kung ito ay talagang maliwanag na sa aming ibinabalak gawin ay mayroon ngang nasaktan o nahirapan, siyempre. Pero ang paghihirap ay ‘di yon ang polisiya ng pamahalaan. Kung nangyari man yun, ‘di yun ang binabalak ng administrayson ng aking ama,” (
(If it was clear that we planned to hurt people or make them suffer, then of course, we will apologize. But the suffering was not the policy of the government. If it indeed happened, that was not the plan of my father’s administration.)
The closest he came to admitting that his father made mistakes was when he was quoted by Ayee Macaraig in one of her Rappler pieces as saying that his father had his flaws, but then rationalized it by saying that everybody makes mistakes except God.
Again, this indicates that he is not even willing to recognize that human rights violations did occur during his father’s watch.
Bongbong was already of age during the Martial Law years. He might not be a direct participant to the atrocities committed by his father being the commander-in-chief, but he was old enough to know what had happened.
I admit that being the son of the former dictator he is duty-bound to defend his father. But there is a catch – Bongbong is running for the second highest position next to the president.
Again, he may or he may not win as vice president. But if he does, he is one step closer to being a president someday.
What’s wrong with Bongbong becoming a president? A lot.
Like his father, Bongbong also denies the existence of documented human rights violations during Martial Law numbering around 100,000, including salvaging and enforced disappearances.
Like his father whose 33 medals and awards resulting from his military exploits during World War II were exposed as fake, Bongbong’s degree at Oxford University was also exposed as fake.
Like his father and his family who benefitted from the family’s hidden wealth, Bongbong is also the beneficiary of the family’s Swiss bank accounts amounting to $356 million.
Like his father, Bongbong also paints the Martial Law years as a time of peace and economic prosperity.
Like his father, Bongbong also believes there is nothing to apologize for the declaration of Martial Law.
Bongbong may not be his father. But he is similar to his father in many ways. And this is scary.
And as long as he continues to flaunt his ignorance of what happened during the Martial Law years, he can be as dangerous as his father when the time comes.
After all, Bongbong is still his father’s son. He is still a Marcos.