By Michelle R. Guillang | Daily Tribune
Saying he had learned lessons from his father — the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. — whom he claimed to idolize, presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos Jr. late Tuesday vowed to be “more cautious” in trusting people who would support his leadership should he get elected on 9 May 2022.
“He is my idol,” the former senator said of his father. “But as president, what were his mistakes? He trusted the wrong people and they betrayed him.”
“But that was his character. He trusted people that he found, after 1986, were not his true friends. So, I will be more cautious with the people who will be with me in government if I get elected,” the aspirant who uses his acronym, BBM, stated.
“I idolize him. It’s no longer surprising because he was not only dominant in Philippine politics, he is dominant in all our lives. I admire his work. His style of working was impeccable. His heart was for the people,” BBM said.
The former lawmaker did not name the persons he was referring to, however.
Marcos Sr. was ousted by a popular uprising in February 1986 when former Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police chief Gen. Fidel V. Ramos launched a coup against him.
As president from 1965 to 1986, he placed the country under martial law for nine years (1972 to 1981) while launching various infrastructure projects, including the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), which BBM said should be revived to help improve the Philippines’ energy program and help attract more investors.
He blamed the late President Corazon Aquino, the leader who succeeded his father, for not being able to pounce on the opportunities offered by the BNPP and said “politics” reigned over science with her decision to shut it down.
In a radio interview, Bongbong vowed to support lawmakers by setting aside a budget for their local programs so that they can “show off” their accomplishments to their constituents.
He said it will not be similar to a pork barrel or identical with former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III’s Priority Development Assistance Fund which was declared “unconstitutional” by the Supreme Court in November 2013.
Bongbong, however, said the discretionary fund will be given a different name.
No drug user
The presidential hopeful also clarified that he never used drugs. His camp had debunked claims that he was the person alluded to by President Rodrigo Duterte as a cocaine user.
He stated that the use of illegal drugs “does not fit his lifestyle.”
“I’m a busy man. That kind of lifestyle does not fit me. I have a job to do,” he said.
He, however, noted that he would support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes due to its “therapeutic claims”.
Drug users, he said, should be given a chance to be cured.
“They should be treated as patients in need of a cure,” he stated.
Bongbong also said he favors abortion for “severe cases” like for the victims of rape and incest.
“I think for very severe cases, the most, the majority are the rape victims. I think that if it can be shown that they were raped and it was not consensual sex that got them pregnant, then they should have the choice to abort or not. The other is incest perhaps,” Bongbong added.