PRESIDENT FERDINAND “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. heaped praises on his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., during his inaugural address, where he also vowed to fulfill the dreams of Filipinos and provide them with a “future of sufficiency.”
“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence, in a land of people with the greatest potential for achievement—and yet they were poor. But he got it done. Sometimes with needed support; sometimes without,” Marcos Jr. said during his inauguration as 17th president of the Philippines at the National Museum on June 30.
“So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me,” he added.
Marcos Jr. said Filipinos resisted and never failed to defeat foreign attempts to break up the country in his father’s watch.
“His (Marcos) strongest critics have conceded that,” the President said.
“We can trust no one else when it comes to what is best for us. Past history has often proven that. Solutions from outside divided us. None deepened our understanding. They were always at our expense. Never forget we are Filipinos, one nation, one republic, indivisible,” he added.
Marcos also claimed that his father “built more and better roads” and “produced more rice than all administrations before his.”
He went on to laud his predecessor, former president Rodrigo Duterte, for building “more and better” than all the administrations succeeding his father.
“Investors are now setting up industries along the promising roads built, and yet the potential of this country is not exhausted. Following these giant steps, we will continue to build. I will complete on schedule the projects that have been started,” the younger Marcos said.
The presidency of the elder Marcos ended abruptly in 1986 after he was ousted in the historic 1986 People Power Revolution, an uprising that restored the democratic institutions in the Philippines.
Various sectors, including victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos dictatorship, had tried to derail the presidential bid of Marcos, Jr. by highlighting the corruption issues tied to his family.
However, efforts to stop the Marcoses from returning to power failed as Marcos Jr. achieved an overwhelming victory during this year’s highly divisive presidential race. The younger Marcos got more than 31 million votes, higher by more than 16 million votes than that of his closest rival, former vice president Leni Robredo.
Human rights groups are worried that the atrocities under Marcos would be whitewashed now that his son is the President.
Thomasian journalist Crispin Maslog recently claimed that the Marcos project to revise history has begun with the victory of Marcos Jr.
As Marcos Jr. was delivering his speech, various groups held protests at Plaza Miranda in Quiapo to oppose his presidency. The protesters also condemned what they described as the widespread disinformation on the human rights violations during the time of the elder Marcos.
‘We do not look back’
Marcos Jr. urged Filipinos, including his critics, to join him in rebuilding the country and in addressing its challenges.
He also cited the need to focus on the future and to “repair a house divided.”
“I am here not to talk about the past, I’m here to tell you about our future. A future of sufficiency, even plenty of readily available ways and means to get done what needs doing, by you, by me,” the President said.
“We do not look back but ahead. Up the road that we must take to a place better than the one we lost in the pandemic. Gains made and lost, opportunities missed, well-laid plans superseded by the pandemic,” he added
Marcos Jr. assured the Filipinos that he would deliver on his without asking much from them.
“I will not predicate my promise to you on your cooperation. You have your own lives to live, your work to do, and there too I will help. [The] government will get as much done alone without requiring more from you. That is what government and public officials are for. No excuses, just deliver,” he said. F – M. Nabaza and V. N. Yap