What Bongbong Marcos needs to do if he wants to be president

Is he the Ilocanos' political redemption?

Is he the Ilocanos’ political redemption?

By Richard Momar Yapo Cuanang

In the Ilocos Norte of yore, the name ‘Marcos’ evoked beacon of leadership, a stature measured by good education and the determination to succeed.

But that name inspires so much negativity today smeared with allegations of human rights abuses, massive corruption, and an opulent lifestyle called “Imeldific,” in reference to the former First Lady’s atrocious spending sprees.

Listening to a recent interview with scion Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos was an enlightenment. It got me thinking about this young man who looms as the Ilocanos’ political resurrection, and wondering whether he would come forward to atone for the sins of his father.

First Family for 20 years (from left): Irene, Bongbong, Imelda, Ferdinand and Imee

First Family for 20 years (from left): Irene, Bongbong, Imelda, Ferdinand and Imee

The young Macoy acknowledged to GMA’s Jessica Soho that human rights abuses may have been committed during the 20 years of his father’s reign, but vehemently denied his family acquired ill-gotten wealth. As a proud Ilocano, I have to parse those words very carefully. I could sense he has learned to shut out the noise of all the allegations sang to his name over and over again. Then he waxed philosophical about how the Filipino people have metamorphosed into a race with a great social obligation to remind their leaders when they are abusing their power. How Filipinos are not a passive people, a characteristic we can proudly bequeath to the next generation.

Bongbong Marcos was a presidential prodigy. He was born with a silver spoon on his gold-plated table, reckless in his youth, somewhat of a bully, and at times naïve. He was mom’s and dad’s favorite. He was set to become his father’s successor, the express lane to Malacanang paved and carpeted for him.

But the EDSA revolt happened in 1986, and it became his wake-up call. Life for this one-time Golden Boy became a misery of defeat, deception and despair. Destiny has a way of leveling the score, and seeing how we all develop the smarts to become better with the determination to succeed. That’s why some of us inherit suffering, and hope that at the end of the dark tunnel, we can be the best of what hope to be.

But that was a generation ago and Bongbong is now a Philippine senator. He lost the 1995 election, but won in 2010 after two tries. He was out there in the open, speaking out, appealing, defending, justifying, explaining and hoping that people would give him time of day to listen. It was his play for fairness out of loyalty to his father and mother who were the best parents to him and his sisters.

Bongbong is now the avatar of his family’s political redemption. It’s an impossible dream, but only in the deep Patronage of Filipinism can this happen.

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