Bongbong seeks to rebrand Marcos .’s brutal legacy

220422 Marcos Jr is seen here speaking at a rally on the outskirts of Manila in Arpril. The name Marcos has lost its grip on a new generation of Filipinos who have grown up with no memory of the brutal martial law era of the last century.

Jam Sta Rosa | Afp | beautiful pictures

For a sizable portion of Filipinos voting for the Philippines’ presidential election, memories of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ brutal and corrupt reign have yet to be erased.

In fact, they don’t even exist – because most voters weren’t born or were too young to remember that era.

More than 50% of Filipinos eligible to vote in Monday’s election were between the ages of 18 and 41, according to the Election Commission. as quoted by the local media.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ruled with an iron fist for nearly two decades until 1986, a period marked by poverty, unemployment and a debt crisis. Arbitrary arrest, disappearance and alleged torture during his rule provoked a popular uprising, which later came to be known as the People Power revolution. It eventually forced him to flee to Hawaii, where he died in 1989.

Today, his son Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., 64 years old, is the substitute striker Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and restored the presidency to the Marcos family. Bongbong, as it is widely known, was 15 years old when his father imposed martial law in the Philippines in 1972.

The younger Marcos went through long years in politics. He has served as deputy governor, governor and congressman in the family stronghold of Ilocos Norte in the north of the country since the 1980s. His mother Imelda Marcos, 92, ran for president twice and died in the 1990s.

Her infamous 3,000-pair shoe collection – discovered when protesters stormed the presidential palace during the 1986 uprising – is now housed in a museum in Manila. But today, public frustration with successive democratic governments seems to have replaced the excesses of the Marcos regime in public perception.

Social media stars rarely meet journalists

The name Marcos today is echoed by a sort of romanticism, a classic style that dates back to the days when the Philippines was important in world affairs. Bongbong, whose tagline is “Together, we will rise again,” attached a provocative message about rekindling the idea of ​​former greatness.

His father ran a similar campaign, promising to make the Philippines “great again.” But unlike his father, young Marcos maintained his usual position in the mainstream media, instead waging an elaborate social media campaign with millions of followers.

He makes a popular appearance on the Chinese media app TikTok, where he posts reviews and presents the story of his family once enjoying a Kennedy-like mysticism.

He often calls his last name at campaign events but is wary of exposing himself to vague political controversies.

Of the 10 candidates in the race, Marcos Jr was the only one to skip two televised debates organized by the government’s Election Commission. In late April, he turned down a one-on-one debate with his closest rival, Leni Robredo, the current vice president. You too refused to attend a debate hosted by CNN in the Philippines.

He rarely gives media interviews and refuses to answer extreme questions from journalists during rallies. It was a strategy he forged after a narrow loss to Robredo, who beat him in the 2016 vice-presidential race. At the time, his father’s legacy of corruption and brutality was center of the opposition’s campaign.

It helps Duterte be an ally. He helped the country re-imagine Marcos’ legacy.

In 2016, Marcos Sr’s remains were interred in a national cemetery, the Philippine equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery.

Cut the boundary between China and the US

The Philippines is a traditional military ally of the United States, but after the 2016 presidential election, Duterte drew closer to China and declared “separation” of the country from the US

Speaking on a virtual forum in March, Marcos Jr said the Philippines shares a “special relationship” with the US.

“Military deals are beneficial to both countries,” he said, adding that the US can do “many things” to help the Philippines. But it remains to be seen whether the younger Marcos risks upsetting Beijing by drawing closer to the US.

Notably, he hasn’t talked much about economics. Instead, he used vague terms like “national unity” and implied that his policies would continue to support Duterte’s infrastructure-based “Build, Build, Build” public works plan.

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