By PAULENE MARIGIE V. SANCHEZ and MONICA ANDREA T. TRIA
With reports from Jonas Alpasan
MANILA – Filipino progressives noted how President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. used his inaugural speech to honor his father, the late dictator Marcos Sr., while “conveniently avoiding any mention of the fascist dictatorship Marcos. Sr. is most notorious for.”
“He was very selective in what he wanted to highlight with his father’s so-called achievements, and even those need to be fact-checked and not be taken as gospel truth,” said Renato Reyes Jr., secretary-general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.
Today, June 30, Marcos Jr. was inaugurated as the country’s 17th president in the National Museum of Fine Arts. Here, he emphasized that he was not to discuss the past but the country’s future. His road to the presidency, critics said, was built on massive fraud and disinformation, particularly on the whitewashing of the horrors of the nearly two decades of Martial law rule under his parents.
“Marcos, Jr. tells us he shares the same dream as the ordinary Filipino but he omits mention of his privileged position. The major issues such as high oil prices, crushing taxes, low wages, and human rights were altogether ignored or left out,” Reyes added.
Plans for PH?
In his inaugural speech, Marcos Jr. said that while he did not want to delve into the past. Yet, he repeatedly mentioned his father’s supposed legacy.
“I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence in a land filled with people with the greatest potential for achievement, and yet they were poor. But he got it done. Sometimes, with the needed support. Sometimes, without. So, will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me,” he said.
However, Reyes noted that he gave to provide concrete programs on how he intends to do so, adding that the people “will have to wait until the incoming regime gets its act together.”
Meanwhile, ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro said that while it is good to look forward “we should not forget the past so that the mistakes then will not be repeated and the atrocities done in yesteryears would be brought to justice.”
She added that the youth must be taught “about the past and hone their critical thinking as well as improve their lessons. We can do this by reviewing the K-12 program at the minimum or repealing it entirely.”
In a Facebook post, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia said that the people do not need “elegant but worn-out rhetoric.”
“We basically heard it all before more than half a century ago,” he said, adding that the “mantra of unity is but a tired cliche and cosmetization for continuing impunity for past, present and even the future wrongs.”
Reyes said, “We should brace ourselves for more of the same. Indeed, there are no reasons to celebrate this day.”