ACKNOWLEDGING that the country’s greatest asset is its people, presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. on Saturday admitted that he is an optimist because in his heart he believes that the Filipino people is the country’s biggest asset.
Coming down to the last question of the “The Deep Probe: The SMNI Presidential candidates Interview,” Marcos impressed the panelists with his emotional yet clear-cut answer to Prof. Clarita Carlos’ question on whether he was an “optimist or a pessimist, a high-risk or low-risk-taker, or if he was Machiavellian?
“I’m essentially an optimist. And the reason why I’m an optimist, especially when we talk about the country, I am optimistic because our biggest asset is the Filipino people. I try to be very objective about it ma’am, I have traveled around the world I have not met a better people than the Filipinos in every possible way, every possible way,” Marcos said emphatically, eliciting applause from the audience and even from Carlos, who is known to be a feisty and no-nonsense panelist.
On the question to what extent is he a risk taker, he said that “when it comes to national issues I tend to be a conservative only because a mistake would cost so much suffering for so many people.”
“In other words, you have to be very careful with the decisions you make and it’s not something that you do off hand,” he said, flicking his fingers to put emphasis.
Marcos explained that his conservatism lies in his belief that his plans for the country should work out right.
“You think about it very hard, you talk to as many people as you can and you make absolutely certain that you have done everything that you can possibly do to make whatever your plan, is to make it work,” he added.
Marcos, declaring that there were “many Machiavellians in his life,” admitted that he is a Machiavellian and that “he has to be aware of everything that is going to help whatever it is that you are hoping to achieve.”
Nicolo Machiavelli is an Italian Renaissance political philosopher and statesman who is famous for his work The Prince that brought forth the dictum “The end justify the means,” which has become synonymous with political cynicism.
However, Carlos cut him short to explain that what she actually meant was the “good” Machiavellian, that has been the staple narrative of strong political leaders.
To which Marcos explained that a leader “should understand what was the situation on the ground.”
“Kailangan maging maingat, it’s a way of being careful and very knowledgeable about what other things that have come into play so that you will achieve success, whatever that success, however you define success. So, in that sense ma’am yes I am a Machiavellian,” he said.
Carlos, obviously convinced with the response, thanked Marcos and invited him to visit the University of the Philippines (UP) to discuss with him the Operational Code Construct, something that she had never done before to other candidates.
In a nutshell, Operational Code Theory is a process of foreign policy decision-making influenced in large part by beliefs, along with the strategic interaction between actors engendered by their decisions and the resulting political outcomes.
The Presidential Interviews ended in a resounding applause, but what was transparent was that the panelists were pretty much convinced that they could be looking at the next president of the land.
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