MANILA — Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s critics on Wednesday expressed displeasure at his proclamation as president, but sent a message of hope for his upcoming six-year term.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio were officially proclaimed the winners of the May 9 presidential and vice-presidential elections by Congress on Wednesday.
In a statement, the National Union of People’s Lawyers said the return of the Marcos to Malacañang decades after their removal from office following a brutal and corrupt 20-year regime “augurs a dark and bleak future for the country and the people”.
“The optics and symbols already seen send shivers down your spine when viewing images from the next 6 years,” said NUPL President Edre Olalia.
Olalia, however, said his group “hopes and will be pleasantly surprised if they prove us wrong on issues of human rights, good governance, social justice, national sovereignty and other overriding issues despite the obvious signals, statements and experience to the contrary.
“Unity cannot be based on impunity. There must be accountability at all levels, past, present and future. Our commitment to be vigilant, to call, to stand firm and to push back is even more intense and imperative.
“If the oppressors and exploiters don’t give up but live right, why should the oppressed and exploited give up and die?”
Minority leader and representative of Bayan Muna, Carlos Isagani Zarate, meanwhile said that the progressive Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives withdrew after the proclamation of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio, because they do not want ” glorify the advent of a “dictatorial” regime as represented by the tandem.”
“I coined ‘dictatorial’ to describe the Marcos-and-Duterte tandem because that’s what they really represent: the dictatorial regime of Marcos Sr. and the tyrannical regime of Digong Duterte.” Zarate said in a statement.
Marcos Jr. and Duterte-Carpio had campaigned on a promise to unify the country, boost jobs and rein in rising prices as the Philippines sought a path out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marcos Jr., 64, son and namesake of the late dictator who was ousted from office in the 1986 People Power Revolution, will become the 17th president of the Philippines.
He will succeed outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte, father of Sara, after the departure of the general manager on June 30.
Marcos’ candidacy was challenged by victims of martial law who filed but lost disqualification cases before the Election Commission.
His victory follows a relentless online whitewashing of the family’s past and alliances with rival political dynasties that have the means to sway voters in their regions.