Sunday, November 27, 2022

Bongbong seeks to rebrand Marcos’ brutal legacy

A supporter flashes the peace signal, the marketing campaign image of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., throughout his final marketing campaign rally earlier than the election on Might 07, 2022 in Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Ezra Acayan | Getty Pictures Information | Getty Pictures

For a good portion of Filipinos voting for the presidential election within the Philippines, the reminiscences of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ brutal and corrupt reign haven’t been erased.

In actual fact, they do not even exist — as a result of a majority of the voters had been both not born or had been too younger to do not forget that period.

Over 50% of Filipinos eligible to vote on Monday’s election are between the ages of 18 and 41, in accordance to the Fee on Elections as quoted by the local media.

Ferdinand Marcos Sr. dominated with an iron fist for almost twenty years till 1986, a interval marked by nice poverty, unemployment and a debt disaster. Arbitrary arrests, disappearances and alleged torture throughout his rule provoked a mass rebellion, which got here to be generally known as the Individuals’s Energy revolution.

It will definitely compelled him to flee to Hawaii, the place he died in 1989. 

As we speak, his son Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., 64,  is the frontrunner to exchange outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and reclaim the presidency for the Marcos household. Bongbong, as he’s popularly identified, was 15 when his father imposed martial legislation within the Philippines in 1972.

The youthful Marcos has spent long years in politics. He has served as vice governor, governor and congressman within the household stronghold of Ilocos Norte within the north of the nation for the reason that Nineteen Eighties. His mom Imelda Marcos, 92, ran for president twice and misplaced within the Nineties. 

Marcos Jr seen right here addressing a rally in suburban Manila in April. The Marcos identify has misplaced its menace for a brand new era of Filipinos which has grown up with no reminiscence of the brutal martial legislation period of the final century.

Jam Sta Rosa | Afp | Getty Pictures

Her notorious 3,000-pair shoe assortment — found when protesters stormed the presidential palace within the 1986 rebellion — is now housed in a Manila museum. However right this moment, public disillusionment with successive democratic governments appears to have displaced the excesses of the Marcos regime in public consciousness.

Social media star who hardly ever meets journalists

The Marcos identify right this moment is ringed by a sort of romanticism, a classic it has acquired from the times when, because the narrative goes, the Philippines used to matter in world affairs. Bongbong, whose slogan is “Collectively we will rise once more,” has caught to an evocative message of rekindling the thought of former greatness.

His father ran an analogous marketing campaign, promising to make the Philippines “nice once more.” However in contrast to his father, the youthful Marcos has saved a low profile within the mainstream media, as an alternative operating a classy social media marketing campaign with thousands and thousands of followers.

He is a well-liked presence on Chinese language media app TikTok, the place he posts opinions and presents a storyline of his household which as soon as loved a Kennedy-like mystique.

He typically invokes his household identify at marketing campaign rallies however stays cautious of exposing himself to the vagaries of political debate.

Among the many 10 candidates within the race, Marcos Jr. was the one one to skip the 2 televised debates held by the federal government’s Fee on Elections. Late in April, he rejected a one-on-one debate along with his closest rival Leni Robredo, the present vice chairman. He additionally refused to attend a debate hosted by CNN within the Philippines.

He has hardly ever given media interviews and refuses to reply shouted questions from journalists at rallies. It’s a technique he has honed on the again of a slender loss to Robredo, who defeated him in the course of the 2016 vice-presidential race. At the moment, his father’s corrupt and brutal legacy was on the front-and-center of the opposition’s marketing campaign. 

It helps that Duterte is an ally. He has helped the nation reimagine the Marcos legacy.

In 2016, the stays of Marcos Sr. had been buried on the nationwide cemetery, the Philippines’ equal of Arlington Nationwide Cemetery. 

Treading a advantageous line between China and the U.S.

The Philippines was a conventional army ally of the U.S. however after his presidential election in 2016, Duterte moved nearer to China and declared his country’s “separation” from the U.S.

Addressing a digital discussion board in March, Marcos Jr. stated the Philippines shared a “particular relationship” with the U.S. 

“Navy offers are advantageous to each nations,” he stated, including that the U.S. might do “many issues” to assist the Philippines. But it surely stays to be seen if the youthful Marcos will threat upsetting Beijing by drawing nearer to the U.S..

Notably, he has not stated a lot on the economic system. As a substitute, he has used obscure phrases equivalent to “nationwide unity” and implied that his insurance policies would proceed to again Duterte’s infrastructure-based “Build, Build, Build” public works plan. 

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