May 25, 2024

Almost all election surveys, commissioned or not, official or unofficial, reveal that Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. leads by a mile against his rivals in the forthcoming presidential election. If this is the potent of things to expect, then he will be the next President of the Republic of the Philippines. I will not be surprised.
That Marcos Jr. is leading is some sort of an enigma to his detractors. Why he leads the surveys and consistently garners a preference rate of more than 50 percent of the respondents’ choice beguiles them. They continue to invoke the wisdom of this election by questioning the voter’s preference. Why vote for a Marcos who in the past was a party to the atrocities of Martial Law?
Who elects someone who evades appearing in public forums to articulate his program of government? Why choose a candidate whose only claim to fame is his family name which family name is tarnished with corruption and extravagance? Why him of all people?
Well, I have several theories which are based on my observation of past events and current situations. This is not an endorsement but please allow me to share my views.
First, Marcos Jr. is more charismatic than all of his opponents. He carries with him a personality that is warm and inflictive. The others? One is “pa-cute,” another is “trying hard,” and all the remaining are either “pa-bilib” or “pa-urong.”
Marcos Jr. smiles a lot and projects himself as someone who is a unifying candidate. He portrays a future government where all forces are united towards a common goal. So, even if he does not explain his programs, the fact that he is a Marcos is more than enough reason for the people to rally behind him.
Second, as charismatic as he is, so too is his running mate. Sarah Duterte carries with her the dynamics of a strong-minded politician like the people-oriented rule of his father, sometimes, even better. If not for agreeing to slide down to become a vice presidential candidate, she would have been the one leading the surveys. Her self-effacing dignity, therefore, rubbed on her running mate. Together, they are undefeatable.
Third, a comparison between the government of late President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. and the government under the administration of the Liberal Party, specifically the Aquinos, shows a great disparity when it comes to its effect on the personal lives of individual Filipinos.
Sure, it might be that the economy grew during the latter’s regime, but we have to remember that such growth was only confined to a limited few. Only the oligarchs benefited. The government that was revolutionized by the liberal party leaders failed to communicate with the people. They were not able to connect with the ordinary Filipinos. They spoke a different language, a language so complex that the common tao did not understand. For instance, they measured the growth of the economy in terms of gross domestic product and profit index.
On the other hand, the poorest of folks measured the economy in terms of how life can be easier, have food on the table, have a steady job and feel safe in their homes.
They look at the efficacy of a leader in terms of how he can stoop down to their level, how his promises are kept and how their expectations are met.
Fourth, the other candidates are looked upon as traditional politicians. They are campaigning on a platform of hate and divisiveness. It is obvious by the way they address Marcos Jr. They call him the son of a dictator? Why characterize him as a human rights violator and a convicted tax evader? Why continuously associate him with the atrocities of Martial Law? He has a name and he is readily identifiable by it even if they do not associate derogatory terms to it.
In casting accusations against him, they are, in the process, building up sympathy votes for him. Instead of promoting their own qualification, they are busy questioning his qualification. Yet, he is not fighting back with the same intensity as his critics. The more they put him down, the more he rises. The more he is ganged upon, the more his supporters believe in him.
Fifth, there is such a thing called “solid north.” Even after Marcos Sr. was deposed by a popular uprising, his political base remained solid. They went into slumber because they saw no opportunity to restore a Marcosian rule.
But now, they have awoken knowing that it is time for another Marcos to be installed into power. If the children of other past presidents like Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is the daughter of Diosdado Macapagal, and Benigno Aquino III, who is the son of Cory Aquino, were elected into office, why not Marcos Jr., who is the son of Ferdinand Marcos?
So, there you go. We are on track to seeing history in the making. We are on the verge of changing our lives. Whatever your view is, one thing is for certain. This election will probably be the most important in our lives for it is one where our choices are real and personal.
Whatever your inclination is, vote wisely.