By Louis "Barok" Biraogo | Manila Standard
"These are BBM’s bashers."
For today’s column, I originally planned to write a follow-up essay on Ombudsman Samuel Martires and his utter contempt for the public’s right to access the Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of government officials on file in his office.
That essay will have to be shelved for the meantime because of pressing issues I need to discuss regarding the recent online interview of ex-Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. by famous vlogger and media personality Toni Gonzaga about a week ago.
As far as I am concerned, that interview, which went viral, is a tell-tale interview.
The first thing I noticed was the way Marcos Jr. behaved during the interview. He did not say anything bad or derogatory against anybody, not even against those who have been saying bad things about him and the rest of the Marcos family. The ex-senator also praised the Filipino people, despite the February 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., from power.
Another thing I noticed was his understandable admiration for his father who, notwithstanding his accomplishments as president, remains the most controversial of all Philippine leaders.
What I found interesting was Marcos Jr.’s answers to Gonzaga’s questions about alleged wrongdoings attributed to his father by anti-Marcos groups.
“Lies,” Marcos Jr. said, stressing that the historical record has proved that those accusations have not been proved. As a politician, Marcos Jr. said that his father had his share of enemies and detractors, and it is impossible for any president to please everybody.
Using various social media platforms, anti-Marcos netizens, allies of the late Presidents Corazon Aquino and Noynoy Aquino, and supporters of the infamous, pro-Aquino Liberal Party, commonly referred to as the the so-called “yellow army” (dilawan in the vernacular), denounced Marcos and Gonzaga.
Their common complaint is that Gonzaga should not have interviewed Marcos Jr. in view of the supposed abuses of the martial law regime of his father. They also slammed Gonzaga and said she should have interviewed somebody else.
A number of them insisted that Marcos Jr. has no basis for calling the accusations against his father “lies.”
Others insinuated that Gonzaga is “biased” for interviewing Marcos Jr., inasmuch as the latter is Gonzaga’s wedding sponsor.
All those who bashed Marcos Jr. and Gonzaga were in for an unpleasant surprise.
Scores of other netizens, as well as numerous political and media personalities, went out of their way to defend Marcos Jr. and Gonzaga.
Broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo said the yellow army has no business telling Gonzaga whom she can and cannot interview in her online program.
One particular netizen called the yellow army’s meddling ironic. She pointed out that although the dilawan gang claims to support freedom of speech, they are unable to tolerate any statement or program which puts anyone in the Marcos family in good light, or which reveals the positive side of the Marcos martial law regime.
All in all, it was obvious to many netizens that the yellow army is filled with hypocrites who believe that freedom of speech belongs only to those who are anti-Marcos.
The yellow army pushed its weight around when Noynoy Aquino was president. Now, it is out of power, and yet it wants to restrict freedom of speech in the country. It’s dreadful to imagine what abuses the yellow army will commit again once their surrogate Liberal Party ever seizes power again.
From the perspective of the nation’s sovereignty, whether or not Marcos Jr. is correct when he said that the accusations against his late father are “lies” is beside the point.
The Constitution states that sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them. Sovereignty, in turn, is exercised by the people through the ballot.
Through the ballot, the Filipino electorate has been electing members of the Marcos family to high national office for the past decade.
In 2019, the Filipino people elected Imee Marcos, President Marcos’ daughter, to the Senate. Also in 2019, the Filipino electorate soundly rejected the re-electionist Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, a first cousin of Noynoy Aquino, whose only legislative accomplishment was to imitate how his late uncle, ex-Senator Ninoy Aquino, looked in the 1970s. In fact, all eight senatorial candidates supported by the yellow army’s Liberal Party lost miserably in that election. The LP was so unpopular, it couldn’t even field a full slate of 12 candidates.
Earlier in 2010, the electorate voted Marcos Jr. to the Senate. Marcos Jr. almost won the vice presidential election in 2016. He was short of just 200,000 votes from the purported winner, Leni Robredo.
From the foregoing indications, the sovereign Filipino people of present times are sympathetic with the Marcoses. That also means the yellow army is obsolete and politically irrelevant.