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Bongbong: We could have been a Singapore

MANILA, Philippines - Twenty-five years after the EDSA People Power revolution that overthrew his father’s dictatorship, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes the nation’s aspirations are still far from being realized.

“There were great promises that had been made and we have to see how far we have come in the fulfillment of those promises… I believe that all Filipinos dream of having a job, to provide their children with an education and that is why they work. I believe that a large percentage of the country have yet to achieve these dreams,” he said.                                    

“If there was no EDSA 1, if my father was allowed to pursue his plans, I believe that we would be like Singapore now,” Marcos said.

This Friday, the country celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first EDSA People Power that ended the 20-year rule of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the nation.

The peaceful revolution inspired many popular uprisings worldwide, the most recent of which was the political upheaval in Egypt that removed President Hosni Mubarak from power after three decades of rule.

President Aquino said the revolution in Egypt is similar to the first People Power revolution. Marcos, however, expressed reservations on the euphoria surrounding the successful ouster of Mubarak.

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“25 years from now, in 2036 –a pretty long time – I hope Egypt does not look back and lament that things have since gone for the worse,” Marcos said in his Twitter entry after Mubarak stepped down. 

He, however, said that he is “truly happy for them (Egyptians).” “And I pray it would redound to a better future for them, if only for those that died,” he said.

He was just as diplomatic about the current administration, which he said should be given a chance to prove its strength. 

“Let’s wait and see. We’re in this term for eight months. We can see that there are sincere efforts to do that (implement changes). His (President Aquino’s) sincerity is not questioned, but as to the effectivity, we will have to wait until the real effects of the 2011 budget are clear,” Marcos said. Over the years, former president Marcos has been portrayed as one of the vilest personalities in the country’s history. The younger Marcos, however, believed his father would have transformed the country into a first world economy.   

He maintained that his family was victimized by the propaganda of groups with political interests.

As a result of revolution, the former dictator was not granted a hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as is normally granted to a head of state.

 Sen. Marcos recently reiterated his family’s appeal to have his father buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

He said the Marcoses are willing to compromise with the government to have a proper burial for his father as a former president and a soldier. The younger Marcos remains unfazed by the continued criticism against his father, particularly by people who have “made careers out of the ’86 event.”

“The truth about the administration of my father is now becoming clear – that he accomplished a lot, he helped many people and there was great progress during his time,” Marcos said.

“Historians will decide on the Marcos era and the 25 years since ’86. Meanwhile, I’m for galvanizing our people to move forward,” he added. Marcos, however, conceded that the 25th anniversary of the People Power Revolution is an important event in the country’s history.

“But it serves as a touchstone for all of us, especially those in government, so as to give us an idea, give us a read of how far we’ve come, how little we’ve come along,” he said.

There are speculations that he would run for president in the 2016 elections.Marcos, however, refused to comment on these rumors. 

“I haven’t talked about running in 2016, I don’t think about it. That kind of speculation is way ahead,” he said.

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