The Return of Marcos?


The Return of Marcos: Seven reasons why more Filipinos want them back

The 2022 presidential election was a defining moment for the Marcos family. Robredo, Marcos Jr.’s closest rival, had dozens of free celebrity endorsements, including business groups and a TV network on her side. But Marcos Jr. consistently topped various surveys across demographics.

With 81% of Filipinos on Facebook, data shows more Filipinos favored the return of Marcos to Malacañang. Marcos Jr. had 5.3 million followers at the height of the campaign; Robredo had 2.3 followers. Naturally, it was a nightmare for those who supported the “Yellow Revolution” that removed Marcos Sr.

7 Reasons why Filipinos want Marcos back

  1. People’s Power did not represent the nation.
  2. Decades of “yellow politics” were empty promises.
  3. The Yellow movement overkilled Marcos.
  4. Martial Law was justifiable.
  5. Better a “dictator” than oligarchs.
  6. Marcos did not steal from the people.
  7. The rise of Duterterism.

1. EDSA People Power did not represent the nation

An estimated two million Filipinos joined the 1986 EDSA revolution. If we add another two million “silent protesters,” four million out of 55 million Filipinos (in 1986) would still be a minority.

WaPo reported Marcos loyalists numbered only a few thousand then. Today, the numbers count in millions. Perhaps, People Power did not represent the whole nation to begin with.

An uprising of loyalists threatened Aquino’s government

Cory Aquino banned Marcos from returning to the country, dead or alive, because his physical presence may destabilize the country. The Supreme court agrees. In short, the number of Marcos supporters is enough to overturn EDSA.

The threats to the government, to which the return of the Marcoses has been viewed to provide a catalytic effect, have not been shown to have ceased,” the Supreme Court said.


2. Decades of “yellow politics” were empty promises

Cory Aquino’s Yellow Revolution dominated politics for 36 years. Ferdinand Marcos ruled for 20 years. Talking heads, the academia, and witnesses lived to tell Marcos’ atrocity. Still, his kins were elected to office and dominated politics in their hometown.

Cory Aquino’s weak and tarnished reputation

US Ambassador Kristie Kenny described Cory’s leadership as “weak and tarnished.” Her moral ascendancy never fully compensated for her weak leadership style.

Cory’s antipathy toward President Arroyo led her to ally with dubious figures such as President Estrada, “Blemishing her reputation as a moral crusader,” she said in a memo in 2009.

Yellow, the color of “righteous politics” in the Philippines

Leni Robredo, the would-be successor of the Aquinos in politics in 2022, embodied good governance. She was the Yellow Revolution’s best bet, yet she avoided using the color that identified “righteous politics” for so long.

Her campaign was laden with anti-Marcos rhetoric, and Pinoys are tired of hearing the same rant for the last 36 years. On the other hand, the “new Marcos” called for unity and command leadership, something Filipinos would rather hear.

Never Again” to “Juana Change”

The “righteous politics” that Cory and her son Noynoy represented amounted to weak governance, double standard, and a crusade of revenge and divisiveness.

Pink is the new yellow.

3. The Marcos overkill backfired

Educating the world about Marcos’ evil regime

What followed the People Power were documentaries that humiliated the family worldwide. Ferdinand Marcos is currently listed as the world’s second most corrupt leader.

Marcos was unquestionably a thug. He was a gangster,” said James Hamilton-Paterson, author of America’s Boy: Marcoses.

“He was a brilliant politician, but he was also brilliantly corrupt. On the surface, he seemed to be a rational person going by the law, by the books, but in person, he was quite ruthless,” according to author Luis Francia.

Four decades of telling the story of a despotic regime

Nearly four decades of retelling the story of a despotic regime would be sufficient for all Filipinos to see an “evil Marcos.” Yet, “more Pinoys” still love them. They saw the depiction of the Yellow movement and the popular media as overkill.

Infamous worldwide

In 2019, Imelda participated in a documentary, The Kingmaker. Using her own words, Imelda was depicted as a monstrous, delusional, self-pitying, wholly unrepentant, and wealthy woman with queenly aspirations.

In 1997, the comedy show ‘On the Television’ featured the episode “Our Maid Imelda.” In 2013, ‘Here Lies Love’ was the new Evita off-broadway musical. She was featured on the first season of ‘Despot Housewives.’

Crucified for attempting to create Filipino royalty

Imelda Marcos wanted to elevate and create a uniquely Filipino identity. The reason she built the Cultural Center and modeled elegant fashion with her diamonds for the world to see. She turned heads and became the toast of the world.

The former beauty queen also commissioned paintings with royal medals, sash, and tiaras. Perhaps an allusion and illusion to what might have been if Spain remained in the country and granted nobility.

Imelda, the “royal pretender”

In 2020, Princess Margarett ridiculed Imelda for her shoes and accent in Netflix ‘The Crown.’ Perhaps a swipe at Imelda for being a royal pretender. After all, she wore a tiara in the past, even though she was not titled.

There is some good sense when ordinary people have someone to look up to. It creates a fantasy that inspires hope and aspirations, which is what Imelda believes.

An inconvenient truth, “Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums,” she said in an interview.

Imeldific: Setting the standard for Filipinos

Imelda’s pizazz reflected what some, if not more Pinoys, would have wanted: To elevate and create a unique Filipino culture and identity through arts and fashion.

For example, she brought Van Cliburn to the country and sponsored cultural projects that launched world-class pianist Cecil Licad to the world center stage.

With fashion czar, Pitoy Moreno, Imelda, with her coterie of “Blue Ladies,” modeled the terno using jusi and piña that Moreno introduced to the world. His contribution to the history of Philippine fashion culture is unparalleled, and he owes it to Imelda. [Metro]

Augie Cordero calls it the “golden years of Philippine fashion with Imelda Marcos, setting the standard. “Nobody would set foot in the CCP in denim.” But under Cory, Cordero felt she could not be bothered about the arts, he said.

Dressing for the masses

Imelda Marcos dressed for the masses. She was quoted as saying they expected it of her. Cordero noted that she mingled with and hugged the poor and expressly forbade her Blue Ladies from carrying hand sanitizer.

Their accomplishments overshadowed by vengeance

The apparent truth is that Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’ accomplishments were overshadowed by vengeance. The more the world hated Marcos, the more they gained sympathy for the country.

To say that the Marcos years were the “golden age” is debatable. However, they did accomplish much. For example, as Ferdinand looked into agriculture and developing infrastructures, Imelda pushed arts, culture, and trade to the world.

Ferdinand and Imelda made things happen

In 1976, the “Chamber,” precursor of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, proposed the “First Philippines International Trade Fair,” inspired by the Canton Trade Fair. The problem, the country did not have a trade hall.

As chairwoman, Imelda had Philcite built in six months. In such a short period, they got 20 countries out of 70 embassies in Manila to join the trade fair, including the US, Japan, China, and Russia. [Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat]

Marcos also looked heavily into raw material exports to Europe and improved labor policies for the OFW by establishing the National Manpower Youth Council (NMYC) in 1975, which paved the way for TESDA.

In the same year, “A la découverte des Philippines” was an exhibition of Philippine products at Parly, France, among other trade shows she actively pursued locally and abroad. [AP Archive Video]

The “unimeldific” Filipino stereotype

In 2022, a Chinese actor played the role of a Filipino domestic worker in a prime-time drama episode, Barrack O’Karma. She darkened her skin, practiced voodoo, lied to her bosses, and spoke in broken English.

In 2017, Madame was a movie about a wealthy American couple in Paris. She asked one of her servants to pretend to be rich and fill in the table.

The Pinay maid was never an option because “Nobody invites Filipinos to parties,” madame quipped. These depictions hurt the pride of Filipinos.

More sympathy than hatred

The Filipino identity, which Imelda Marcos did her best to achieve, was used to make her a laughing stock. Guilty or not, most Filipinos saw it as demeaning and overkill.

The “Yellow Movementtrashed Imelda instead of appreciating what she tried to accomplish, pretentious or not.

Filipinos love telenovelas, and the story of Marcos is full of drama. From rags to riches story and from power to shame. The couple embodies what it meant to be a Filipino, and to destroy Marcos is to teardown the Filipino identity they built.

To destroy Marcos is to teardown the Filipino identity that they built.

4. Martial Law was justifiable?

Corruption allegations and martial law were the two main reasons for justifying the revolution. However, it did not hold on for too long. Today, Marcos supporters believe it saved the country from communism.

Justified by the communist insurgents

Communist insurgents were Marcos’ rationale for Martial Law, perhaps among other self-serving reasons. His advocacy justified killing civilians who sympathized with the leftist rebels. For decades, the “yellow narrative” was that the young people killed were innocent. [Rappler]

Cory Aquino freed communist founder Joma Sison

In 1986, President Cory Aquino freed four political prisoners, including the founder of the Philippines Communist Party, Joma Sison, despite objections from top military advisers.

Her Vice President, Doy Laurel, claimed that from 16,500 NPA, its armed strength peaked at 25,200, of which 2,500 are in Metro Manila.

They have infiltrated not only the trade unions, the schools, the churches, and the media but your government,Laurel said in 1988.

Whether the Marcos years were an era of human rights abuse or justified killing, the promise of Cory to ‘break the back’ of insurgency did not happen when the “dictator” left. Neither her son Noynoy did.

Martial Law under Marcos was marked by 3,257 known extrajudicial killings, 35,000 documented tortures, 77 ‘disappeared,’ and 70,000 incarcerations. The two Aquinos are held in a tight spot of their alleged human rights violations. [Business Mirror]

The Aquinos haunted by human rights violations

If Ferdinand Marcos is crucified for Martial Law and Imelda is beleaguered by the Manila Film Festival accident—Cory Aquino is haunted by the Mendiola, Luisita massacre, and her son Aquino Jr by the Masasapano massacre.

Cory’s “Yellow disciples” repeatedly derided the Marcos regime for human rights violations. It was a concerted and relentless effort to demonize him. Yet she failed to address gruesome human rights violations during her term. [Arillo, 2018]

Cory failed to address gruesome human rights violations during her term.

Communist threat today

In 2022, President Duterte claims that communists have infiltrated Congress. In 2021, 38 schools and universities were said to be “recruitment havens” of the CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist group.

Among the liberal groups accused of supporting communism or socialism are NGOs Gabriela, Bayan Muna, Anak Pawis, and ACT Teachers, among others. News outlet Rappler was also dragged into this mire, and Christian group NCCP.

5. Better a “dictator” than oligarchs

For decades, educational textbooks have depicted the “evils of Marcos,” to which Marcos Jr. called for its revision. At the same time, the Marcoses are accused of media propaganda and historical revisionism.

In short, Marcos Sr. is forever branded as a “dictator” by the world. But as it turned out, dictatorship is better than Cory’s oligarchs. While Marcos Sr. was the strongman, Aquino was incompetent. [Professor Clarita Carlos, 2015]

Thus, the slogan “Never again Marcos” backfired and became “Never again to oligarchs.”

Oligarchy became synonymous with Cory’s leadership

Cory Aquino was born into an elite group of landowning oligarchs who dominated the country for centuries. Perhaps it was propaganda to tarnish the Aquino legacy, but apparently, the 1987 Constitution she commissioned was in the best interest of the oligarchs—not the people.

According to Journalist Amando Dorinila, People Power was simply a transition from old to “new oligarchy.” Not much has changed in ownership of wealth during Cory’s time.

One is disappointed that none of the people of the lower orders of Philippine society is represented at the head table (at Club Filipino).

Most of the people inside are members of old political families whose social and economic backgrounds put them in key positions to influence policy decisions…,” he said in 1986.

6. Marcos did not steal from the people?

Rumors that Ferdinand Marcos had a massive stash of gold bars have been around for decades, justifying Imelda’s ostentatious living. Stories of her shopping spree included shutting down Rustan’s to avoid the crowd to charting an airplane to shop in Paris.

In 1989, business magnate and Marcos emissary Enrique Zobel claimed that Ferdinand left behind his widow, Imelda, gold bars worth at least $35 billion.

He said Marcos wanted to return enough money to pay the Philippine’s foreign debt, but Cory rejected it—doubting FFerdinand’ssincerity. [UPI Archives]

The Marcos gold bars

Imelda asserts that her husband was a lawyer for a mining company and became a gold trader and had tons of gold, before entering politics in 1949. “When Bill Gates was a college dropout, Ferdinand already possessed billions of dollars and tons of gold. It wasn’t stolen,” she said. [The Kingmaker 2019]

Rich beyond compare

The 1975 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine listed Imelda Marcos as one of the richest women in the world. Some speculated that she was the richest of them all, even more than Queen Elizabeth II. [Lifetyle Inquirer]

In 2013, 24-Oras’ Mel Tianco interviewed Imelda Marcos. For the first time on national TV, the “Iron lady” admitted she was wealthy. Imelda gave a tour of her apartment and showed stacks of dossiers.

Tianco quipped, “If we go by all of these, you are rich beyond compare.” Imelda replied, “This will save the world.., the reason I want to survive. This is not for me anymore.” It remains to be seen if Ferdinand and Imelda were sincere or just whetting our appetite

In a TV interview in 2022, Marcos Jr. said, ” “Wala pa akong nakikitang gold na sinasabi nila” (In all of my life, I have not seen the alleged gold bars).

Perhaps, Ferdinand’s promise to relinquish his gold bars to the country is no longer an option.

Spanish gold and the Yamashita treasure

Author and Marcos apologist Rita Gadi claims that Ferdinand was already rich before becoming a president. He was allegedly a treasure hunter who created international bank accounts in Switzerland in 1954 and 1963 to hide his wealth. However, Vera Files debunked the claim.

Gadi also mentions a fascinating story of gold bars that Marcos hid on his walls that Imelda demolished. However, this could be a long string of propaganda to cover his track of embezzlement.

The most popular telltale of the Marcos billions came from one out of the 175 treasurer boxes of the Yamashita treasure that he stole from Roger Roxas, a treasure hunter from Baguio province.

Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita’s translator, Eusebio Ocubo, collaborated on the treasure’s location with Roger. In 1971, he found the Burmese statue that came along with several wooden boxes that contained gold bars.

On April 6, 1971, Marcos sent armed men and used brute force to steal the treasure.

In 1996, a jury ruled that Rogelio Roxas was entitled to $22 billion from the Marcoses, NY Post reported. However, Roger had died in 1993, and the award money was none collectible.

Loboc’s “Bridge to Nowhere”

Marcos allegedly used his power and influence to look for the Spanish treasure as well. For example, the unfinished flyover bridge in Loboc, built in the 1970s, was strategically pointed to the 400 years old church. Locals said doing so justifies the demolition of the landmark.

Spanish gold articles were allegedly buried beneath the church before its construction in 1734. Centuries-old rumors said friars kept them underneath to keep them safe from Muslim invaders in the 1600s.

7. Duterterism: “Dictators” make things happen

A sense of political stability was evident during the term of Cory Aquino and her son, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr. Like her mother, Noynoy’s leadership was marked by ineptitude and incompetence, said UP professor Clarita Carlos.

Then came Duterte, who supported the Marcoses. His “dictator” image was reminiscent of Ferdinand Marcos, who had things done by sheer will. Duterte exceeded it with mega-infrastructures in one term.

Duterte’s lofty ‘Build, Build, Build’

Even if it meant taking in dangerously massive loans from China, President Duterte ostensibly put to work progressive plans for the country with sheer will. It pleased the people.

Evidently, “dictators” have accomplished more for the country than the combined leadership of two Aquinos who spent less on infrastructures—although they remained incorruptible.

Even if Duterte Sr. withdrew his public support for Bong Bong in 2022 by bad-mouthing him, his last name was the main reason people wanted to vote for him.

Noynoy Aquino’s ambivalence vs. the brash Duterte

Duterte’s leadership is a dichotomy of Marcos and Aquino’s leadership. But for the most part, it exposed Nonoy’s ambivalence—reminiscent of his mother’s weak leadership.

For example, he ignored HK’s demand for an apology during the 2010 Bus hostage crisis that endangered OFWs in China.

His incompetence in handling the Mamasapano mission led to the massacre of SAF44 in 2015. He repeatedly ignored the “Tanim Bala” scam that Duterte resolved in his first 100 days.

Her mother, Cory, was also associated with nepotism that favored oligarchs, the issue of Hacienda Luisita, and the Mendiola massacre.

Unlike the Aquinos, Marcos Jr., like his father, admitted he was, in a sense, a Machiavellian. Duterte shows a similar leadership style, evident in his war on drugs.

In a sense, a Machiavellian.

Duterterism and the new Marcos

It would have been improbably for Bongbong Marcos Jr. to win the presidency without the support of the “Duterte brand.” Rodrigo Duterte’s brute leadership was better for most Pinoys because he got things done—reminiscent of Marcos’ leadership.

His daughter Sara Duterte who ran as Marcos Jr’s vice president, has a similar character. She is the “alpha” of the family, her father said. Together, they were the perfect brand to win in 2022.

marcs is back
The rise of the Phoenix: BBM critics accuse him of propaganda and historical revisionism, the reason he won the hearts of 31 million Filipinos who voted for him.


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