Philippines: Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, on behalf of the father

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Until then, it had been enthroned on the mountainside, facing the China Sea, from the top of its 30 meters. A monument of megalomania, a vestige of despotism. Shaken by dynamite in 2002, the bust of former Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos (1965-1986) lies without eyes, ears, or nose either. At the origin of the action, the Communist Party of the Philippines (PCP) warned: “Let these ruins remain in the form of a reminder for the crimes that the Marcos have still not paid for.

The left is not the only one to feel aversion for this monument surrounded by a golf course and a housing complex but built on the ancestral lands of the indigenous tribe of Ibaloi. In 1986, they sacrificed a buffalo and a pig there before spilling blood on the monument in order to “exorcise” it. Legal action had also been taken to assert their rights to these lands.

Thirty-five years after the end of the dictatorship, the memory of the archipelago seems to falter. A collective amnesia that allows the son of the former head of state, Ferdinand Marcos junior, 64, to announce his candidacy for the 2022 presidential election, giving new political life to his clan. And a serious revenge after the exile imposed in 1986 and the death of his father, three years later, in Hawaii (United States). “Family clans or political dynasties have managed to retain their influence by adapting to social, political or economic changes”, observes researcher Roberto Blanco, who sees in this strength of family lines a legacy of American colonization in the twentieth century. . Foreign domination “relied on these dynasties which, in exchange for pacification, gained parliamentary representation. This oligarchic domination has accelerated the marginalization of disadvantaged sectors, ”he underlines.

Repression and torture from 1972

The son Marcos is not at his first attempt. In 2016, he saw the vice-presidency narrowly escaping him. Nicknamed “Bongbong” (the wall), the former senator intends to defend his father’s legacy. “I benefit from the good work done during my father’s time. There were so many things launched at that time that still benefit the people to this day, ”he was proud of in 2016. A so-called golden age where great works were enough, according to him, to make Filipinos happy. .

On the left, this candidacy arouses fear. In 1972, faced with the challenge of his power and in the name of the fight against communism, he proclaimed martial law, with the support of Washington; 70,000 opponents are sent behind bars; 34,000 are tortured and at least 3,200 are killed. “If he had not been helicoptered out of his palace by his American imperialist master, (Ferdinand Marcos) would have been immediately arrested and tried by the Filipino people or would have been summarily treated, like Mussolini during the defeat of the fascists in Italy “, Estimated, in 2016, the communist leader José Maria Sison while the former dictator was buried in the cemetery reserved for the heroes of the nation.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr has never denied his father’s crimes, quite the contrary, but he refuses to admit that they are worth excuses. “There are abuses (…) generalized under all governments and it is a problem that we must face as a nation”, he clears himself. Five years after Rodrigo Duterte’s presidential victory, this return of the Marcos clan says a lot about the state of democracy. In a way, the condemnation, in mid-September, of the power of the current president Rodrigo Duterte by three archbishops of the North Luzon region proves the son of the former dictator right: “It’s like being in the valley of death: the murder of drug addicts and opponents; the victims of the pandemic; the death of misery for a government without vision and for shameless corruption that seems to break all records. “

The International Criminal Court has ordered the opening of an investigation into the 6,000 assassinations perpetrated, according to official figures, as part of the “war on drugs” led by the Philippine president and which could be qualified as a “crime against drugs”. humanity ”. And clerics suggest this figure is underestimated: “More than 30,000 Filipinos have been killed in the campaign against illegal drugs. The trail of death widens: journalists, political opponents, judges, priests have been killed and government critics have been intimidated and threatened. The murderers are free and the blind supporters of these murderers applaud the murderers. They even praise them.

Rodrigo Duterte, who will not stand for re-election according to the Constitution, has tasked his daughter, Sara, to take over, as she had already done at Davao City Hall when he became president. An alliance between Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Sara Duterte-Carpio could work behind the scenes to ensure total domination through the combination of votes from the North, Center and South.

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