Analyst: Duterte's coziness with Marcos raises alarm bells


MANILA, Philippines – The "coziness" of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with losing vice presidential bet Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. raises alarm bells on the return of a dictatorship, a political analyst said.

"For those who suffered under the dictatorship and who continue to feel the trauma of its violence, the prospect of the unrepentant son returning to power is a grievous insult," political analyst Lila Ramos Shahani said in her column on Philstar.com

Shahani noted that the relationship between Duterte and the Marcos family has implications for the term of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo.

Duterte had insisted that he will not give Robredo a seat in his Cabinet as he does not want to "hurt the feelings" of his friend, Marcos.

"This is the political reality," Duterte said.

This implies the enduring presence of Marcos in the government for the next six years. The senator earlier said that he would be "honored to serve" in the new administration if given the chance.

"At this point, for better or worse, Robredo’s vice presidency cannot be dissociated from the key roles of both Marcos and Duterte," Shahani said.

Marcos is set to file an electoral protest, claiming that had been cheated amid alleged voting irregularities.

The senator finished second in the vice presidential race with 14,155,344 votes, 263,473 short of Robredo's 14,418,817 votes.

"I will eventually take my seat that is being kept warm for me," Marcos said.

Shahani noted that Martial Law was a "disastrous" period in Philippine history and that Marcos's loss to Robredo might be an opportunity to consign historical revisionism.

However, Marcos loyalists spread the propaganda that the Marcos era was a "golden age" of development and good governance, Shahani said.

"Bongbong continues to insist that the nation needs to 'move on' from Martial Law and focus on solving current problems, while dismissing the very history that led to making the country the 'sick man of Asia,'" Shahani said.

Meanwhile, Robredo has consistently criticized Martial Law revisionism and Marcos's claim that the 1986 EDSA Revolution “derailed his father’s plan” to develop the Philippines.

"Of course, Robredo’s victory is not without hitch. She is herself facing allegations—thus far unsubstantiated—of electoral cheating. If that turns out to be the case, it will cast doubt on claims by anti-Marcos forces that she is indeed the better alternative to Bongbong," the analyst said.

Duterte and Robredo are set to hold separate inaugurations which will be the first in recent history.

The camp of Duterte said that a separate inauguration would benefit Robredo due to logistical concerns. The number of guests for the president-elect's inauguration will be limited to 500. — Patricia Lourdes Viray 

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