Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr can be expected to continue his father’s original labor export policy. What he says goes against all of the state’s presumed commitments. It is an obligation, a democratic and constitutional duty of the state, to provide meaningful and humane jobs in the Philippines. Workers must receive a living wage – this term is actually specified in the constitution. But BBM hardly ever appeared during pre-election debates. No one could ask him specifically what he would do — about OFWs, the economy, or anything else — if he became president. He avoided answering such questions whenever the media asked him or his bodyguards prevented reporters from interviewing him.
With the exception of Socialist candidate Leody de Guzman, who presented a detailed and progressive program during her campaign, the presidential candidates have been content to make brief declarations of motherhood – all pro-imperialist and pro-capitalist, and nothing new. Marcos Jr’s was completely empty! He effectively said, “Everything my dad did was great, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do, so I don’t need a campaign platform to show you guys.”
He and his running mate, Sara Duterte, evaded questions and televised debates. But Marcos Jr openly claims that his father’s rule – a brutal dictatorship! – ushered in the golden age of Philippine history. And Sara Duterte publicly idolizes her own father: she praised his “kill, kill, kill” policy. So, even if they have not publicly presented their electoral platform, we know what they represent.
But the majority of Filipinos are young. They are far removed from the original Marcos dictatorship and were either poorly educated or deceived about what happened next. A large part of the electorate still lives under the shock of the Duterte years, terrorized by this dictator of the Malacañan Palace.
It is crucial for us to force BBM and Duterte to reveal themselves to the masses through a new phase of anti-fascist and anti-neoliberal resistance struggles. And it’s important that the Filipino masses go through their own process of realizing who these two really are.