"These people choose to harp on the so-called horror stories of the past."
With the filing of certificates of candidacy over, now we know for certain who are duking it out in the upcoming 2022 elections notwithstanding the possibility of substitution until November 15.
Inday Sara has repeatedly ruled out subbing as administration standard bearer, rejecting vying for the post which everybody else is dying to win as she intends to complete a third term as Davao City mayor.
She is adamant in leading her hometown to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, as Davao City remains its epicenter in Mindanao.
The mayor herself and her family have not been spared from contracting the disease. She is in isolation now after testing positive for COVID-19 last weekend.
Davao City Congressman Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte earlier had it one after the other recently.
At age 43, Inday Sara can easily shake off the mild symptoms of COVID-19.
Confidently young, she has a lot of time to showcase her leadership abilities and prove she has more than just the Duterte charisma to catapult her to the presidency.
With Inday Sara out, former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. has emerged as the frontrunner in the presidential race and is being attacked like he never was since returning to Philippine politics.
The Marcos charisma apparently still draws strong support from Filipinos who lived through the Martial Law years, the baby boomers and Gen-X. Why, BBM’s charisma even appeals to millenials and those belonging to the so-called Generation Z.
Anti-Marcos personalities and Martial Law critics cannot accept the fact that Filipinos today embrace the vision that BBM offers.
The naysayers are up in arms against what they describe as a “historical revisionism” that goes with the Marcoses’ resurrection in local politics.
They have been silent throughout BBM’s successive stints in the House of Representatives (1992-1995, 2007-2010), as Ilocos Norte governor (1998-2007), and as senator (2010-2016).
After being “robbed” of his supposed victory as vice president in the 2016 elections, BBM is running for president with the Solid North behind him and with more supporters in the Visayas and Mindanao.
It was not until he came knocking on the door of Malacañang that the anti-Marcos minions came back like zombies, raising hell over BBM’s run in the upcoming elections.
Some unseen hands are apparently orchestrating the black propaganda and demolition job against BBM.
Some 35 years after the so-called EDSA “People’s Power” uprising, they still have the late President Marcos to blame for the Philippine society’s ills.
Five presidents since the Martial Law strongman fled to Hawaii without shedding blood on EDSA, Marcos is still to blame.
The Marcos children and grandchildren, particularly BBM, are now taking the blame for the horror stories parroted by thousands of “victims of Martial Law” who now demand reparation for being detained and tortured by the military.
Martial law actually lasted only nine years from September 21, 1972 to January 17, 1981.
BBM was 15 and I was eight when Marcos imposed Proclamation 1081.
Four months later, on January 17, 1973 international druglord Lim Seng alias Gan Suo So was executed by a firing squad in Fort Bonifacio. It was filmed and shown on television.
Lim was the first and last convict executed by musketry but left an indelible mark of what Marcos called a “smiling Martial Law.”
Until I reached college, I would say that despite widespread poverty, peace and order prevailed but it was after the lifting of Martial Law that the real horror stories began.
Mass actions, particularly at Mendiola gateway to Malacañang, were a daily occurrence fueled by the assassination of former Senator Ninoy Aquino on August 21, 1983.
I was already a beat reporter for the newspaper Malaya during the EDSA “People’s Power” uprising led by Fidel Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile.
It was after Marcos left and the 30 years that followed EDSA that we lived through the nightmare of mass killings, commonly called “salvages,” known now as “extra-judicial killings (EJK).
The Hacienda Luisita massacre and the Mendiola massacre took place during the term of Cory Aquino and so did the 1987 ambush-slaying of Leann Alejandro, chairman of the communist League of Filipino Students (LFS).
It was during Noynoy Aquino’s time that Congress shamelessly caused the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona after the Supreme Court decided to award Hacienda Luisita lands to the farmers.
Jonas Burgos, son of veteran journalist and publisher of Malaya Joe Burgos, was abducted allegedly by the military in 2007. The young activist has never been found until now.
It was also during Cory Aquino’s administration that government officials feasted on “pork barrel”, namely the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and later on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) fund.
Rampant corruption gripped most government agencies.
Following the United States military bases pullout in 1992, Chinese incursion into the West Philippine Sea began.
After Marcos fled, mayhem followed over three decades under the reign of oligarchs, trapos, warlords, drug lords, and gambling lords.
But, they would rather harp on the Martial Law “horror stories” just to spoil BBM’s vision for the Filipino people.