Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III recently said that the Philippines would be a “laughingstock of the world” if fellow Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. were to win as vice-president.
Osmeña noted that the Philippines would be a “laughingstock of the world” if Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will win as vice president.“Nowhere in the world do you see the family of a dictator be allowed back into the country and running for public office. Even Lee Kuan Yew couldn’t understand it so somebody as dumb as me can’t understand it either,” Osmeña said.The senator quoted former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who said that the Filipino people are very forgiving.
In an interview with ANC, one of ABS-CBN’s news channels, Osmeña quoted quite a bit from deceased Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew’s book “From Third World to First”, where Lee devoted a few pages to describing his impressions of the Philippines then, and his interaction with the Marcoses.
In an interview on ANC’s Headstart, Osmena said he is reminded of the late Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s description of the Marcos family in his book “From Third World to First.”…In his book, Lee described the late President Marcos as “the undisputed boss of all Filipinos.”“Imelda, his wife, had a penchant for luxury and opulence. When they visited Singapore before the Bali summit, they came in style in two DC8’s, his and hers,” Lee wrote.He also described the Filipino people as having “a soft, forgiving culture.”“Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics,” Lee wrote.
I would beg to differ with what Senator Osmeña is saying, however, because the Philippines will not become a laughingstock if Bongbong Marcos wins as vice-president.
It already IS. It’s not hard to see why:
(1) Filipinos have been showing for decades just how utterly without direction they are.
Filipinos removed a person they perceived as a dictator under the assumption that being free would lead to the improvement of their plight in life. If we look almost 30 years after, it doesn’t seem that anything much has changed. The direction Filipinos took with their newfound “freedom” after the 1986 EDSA event could be pretty much described with one phrase: bahala na, come what may.
Filipinos have been unable to muster up the collective vision and ambition for a better Philippines, and instead have left it up to their politicians, who in turn usually have very little to offer themselves. After all, they merely reflect the society that put them in power.
It’s quite easy to see that democracy and freedom do not work in the Philippines. That is because Filipinos want the freedom to do what they want, yet they ignore the duties and responsibilities of such freedom, and the consequences of their actions.
Democracy works best only if the people work hard to keep their leaders and themselves accountable. It works best only if differences in opinion are welcomed instead of suppressed. Freedom works only if people are responsible for their own actions and mindful of the rule of law.
Time has proven one statement by Ferdinand Marcos Sr. correct: patuloy na bumagsak ang Pilipinas. The Philippines has been on a downward trend, much of it their own fault. That has been enough to make us a laughingstock.
(2) Filipinos, to this day, have not mustered enough collective will and smarts to chase after the Marcoses for the crimes they are accused of.
For whatever reason, it seems that the representatives who were chosen by the Filipinos have not been able to definitively pin down the Marcoses for whatever cases, human rights abuses and others, there have been. In addition, because it has been a long period of time since they were deposed, the chances of recovering more of their alleged ill-gotten wealth are close to nil.
Quite simply, it seems that the Filipinos have been outmaneuvered by the Marcoses. Whether they allowed it or it just happened despite giving their best effort really does not matter.
Not only have very few cases against the Marcoses prospered, if any, but certain Filipinos keep on voting them back again and again. And they’re STILL giving them a voice and rendering them relevant in today’s political scene!
I would add to Mr. Lee’s statement about Filipino culture: not only is it soft and forgiving, it is forgetful, and weak-willed. That alone has been enough to make us a laughingstock.
(3) The politicians Filipinos have been putting in after the Marcoses were deposed seem to make them look good in comparison.
Despite the few bouts of good leadership that the Philippines has had, the Philippines essentially remains the same wretched, impoverished, dysfunctional society that it has been since the 1900’s.
Roughly, the trend of quality of leadership that the Philippines has had resembles a wave with its crests and troughs – Marcos, Aquino the Mother, Ramos, Erap, Gloria, and Aquino the Son. And now Filipinos look towards the next one. That’s saying it nicely: simply put, the quality of leaders has been inconsistent, and yet the national plight has all but remained the same.
Filipinos have, on more than one occasion, had the opportunity to choose from a list of qualified people to be their leaders. Yet in a lot of them, they chose arguably the least qualified and seemingly least competent one. Not only that, they have dropped the ball many times or put themselves in a position where they are powerless to hold their leaders accountable and check them for corruption.
One only has to be reminded about how Erap and outgoing president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino won. BS Aquino deserves special mention, because in just one six-year term, his record of failure is worse than all of the Marcos years put together.
That Filipinos have allowed and tolerated such bullshit and incompetence from their leaders for a long time has made us a laughingstock.
It is quite laughable that Filipinos like Serge Osmeña fail to see the bigger picture that the Philippines has already been a laughingstock for some time already. If indeed, voting Bongbong Marcos into the vice-presidency will be a mistake, it will not be the straw that breaks the camel’s back; it will merely just add more to the collective, heaping pile of dung that is the Philippines’ course as a modern “nation”. A pile of dung, may we add, that could have been entirely avoidable, had Filipinos collectively been smarter, or at the least exhibited an ability to learn from their mistakes.
The lack of that ability – which has crossed the line into insanity – truly makes us a laughingstock of the world.
[Photo courtesy: politics.com.ph]