Sunday Lifestyle

What will happen next?

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura - The Philippine Star

Sometimes I feel I am going mad. I have orders for many rosaries. If I can make three rosaries a day, I can make my deadlines. But my husband is sick and always calls for me. How can I work hours when his blood pressure (BP) keeps climbing unexpectedly? Why does his BP do that?

I try to consult a doctor. I try to transfer consultation fees from my bank through my desktop. It tells me I should change my password because I haven’t changed it in a while. I try. It goes well but it sends a prompt inquiring if I sent the money and asking me to respond by typing in “SEND MONEY” (all caps). I respond but fail to notice that I didn’t press the “all capitals” button so I typed in “send money.” That made them think I was trying to rob myself.

From then on it became very messy. I tried again, it told me to return to my browser and try again. I did. I got the same prompt. I tried so many times, kept getting the same prompt. I asked a question. They gave me a programmed, step-by-step answer; I followed that very carefully, got the same prompt. By this time I wanted to tear my computer into a million pieces.

Friday is a holiday. It is the anniversary of People Power, our wonderful revolution that gave us maybe 15 days of fame all over the world. Not all of us remember how we got so upset by the assassination of Ninoy Aquino that we hit the streets, tossed torn-up yellow pages from our telephone directories and finally spoke up. We lined the streets during Ninoy’s burial, millions of people making a statement against his death until finally Ronald Reagan, president of the United States, flew the Marcoses to Hawaii and restored our democracy.

Someone said that when Reagan offered Marcos a trip to Hawaii, Marcos heard “Paoay” and agreed. Was that a joke? Maybe it was the truth. It was easier for me to believe Marcos agreed to a trip to Paoay than one to Hawaii. But really, we should stop making jokes about everything. It is time for us to get angry and revolt in our own style once more.

Are we really going to vote his son, Bongbong Marcos (BBM), into the presidency of our country? That’s like telling the whole world we have forgotten the evil that they did. What is the quote? “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.” From Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Did the evil that they did not live after them? I saw, one idle afternoon, Imelda Marcos showing off her classic paintings purchased from European museums or something like that for millions of dollars! How can she do that? Does she not know how horrible that is for her reputation? Maybe she knew but just did not care because she also knew how her acting won over the hearts of many of our simple people.

Bongbong Marcos (BBM) runs for president only to protect everything his family has stolen from us, especially from our poor people. This is what we have come to call their ill-gotten wealth. That’s P125 billion that has yet to be recovered, a P203 billion estate tax liability, which they have not paid at all. I saw another message saying they owed us P172 trillion. I did not see if it was pesos or dollars. Let’s be kind and say it was pesos. Just think about this: one million is 1,000 thousand-peso bills. One billion is 1,000 million. One trillion is 1,000 billion.

The Marcoses also claim to own 50 percent of PLDT, 50 percent of San Miguel shares, and 50 percent of Lucio Tan’s businesses. If BBM wins he will get all of those back. What will happen to our country, to our lives? Those claims do not include other, more secret claims. Nor do they include property owned in New York, Hong Kong and other places. All money used for their personal ownership, taken from the taxes of ordinary people.

The poor whose votes BBM is buying don’t even stop to think of what their lives might have become if the money had stayed in the Philippines, not under any form of disguise, but genuinely used to improve the country’s economy. Life for everyone would have been steadier and infinitely better.

Sometimes I feel so desperate for us. I pray for help but don’t know what will happen. We cannot read how God’s mind works. Will the Marcos-Duterte team lose the elections? I pray they will but Dennis Uy is in charge of the machines. It is so easy to cheat. Or maybe Russia will cause another world war. Then we are all dead.

Who knows? Maybe that’s the better solution.

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