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Opinion

History being written, not rewritten

BABE’S EYE VIEW FROM WASHINGTON D.C. - Ambassador B. Romualdez - The Philippine Star

The presidency has always been a matter of destiny. I believe it, many people believe it, and so do many others who wanted the job but never made it.

After 36 years, witnessing destiny unfold with Ferdinand Marcos Jr. taking his oath of office as the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines was simply overwhelming, to say the least. And for those who were around long enough to see the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., it was rather emotional, witnessing the inauguration of his son, all teary eyed as they listened to the new President deliver his inaugural address.

It took President Bongbong Marcos several days to get his speech together, and he delivered it so well that even those who did not support or vote for him were pleasantly surprised by the ring of sincerity that resonated with them, as the new President urged Filipinos to look to the future and take the road that would bring our county to a place that is “better than the one we lost in the pandemic,” and recover the gains that had been made but lost, including the opportunities that have been missed.

Reiterating the unity that was at the core of his message during the campaign, the President said, “In this fresh chapter of our history, I extend my hand to all Filipinos. Come, let us put our shoulders to the wheel and give that wheel a faster turn to repair and to rebuild and to address challenges in new ways to provide what all Filipinos need to be all that we can. We are here to repair a house divided, to make it whole and to stand strong again,” he exhorted, reminding everyone that “we are Filipinos: one nation, one republic, indivisible.”

He has always believed that the people must be united in order for us to overcome the many problems that our country faces, and he sees the same thing happening not only in the Philippines but in many other countries all over the world. When we are united as a people, we will be able to surmount any problem that may come our way.

The President also spoke of a “comprehensive, all-inclusive plan for economic transformation” and building back better, learning from the experiences we have had – both good and bad, with “no looking back in anger or nostalgia.” Many were especially pleased to hear him say that the task of building will continue, and that he will complete on schedule the projects that have been started.

“I am not interested in taking credit. I want to build on the success that is already happening,” he emphasized.

It is evident that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is looking towards the future, with no intention whatsoever to rewrite history because as I have always maintained, he will be writing his story as he takes his place in history. Certainly, he is cognizant of the weight of the responsibility that has been placed upon his shoulders by the 31 million who voted him into office – “the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy,” as he described it.

“I fully understand the gravity of the responsibility that you have put on my shoulders. I do not take it lightly, but I am ready for the task,” President BBM declared, acknowledging that with every difficult decision he must make, he will keep foremost in his heart and mind “the debt of gratitude” he owes the Filipino people for “the honor and responsibility” that has been conferred on him.

There is absolutely no doubt President Bongbong Marcos is highly motivated, giving me confidence in his ability to do well. And regardless of whether they are critics or supporters, deep in everyone’s heart as true Filipinos, they want this, our country, to go forward.

The special envoys present, among them Second Gentleman of the United States Doug Emhoff, were extremely impressed by the way President Bongbong Marcos expressed the vision and aspirations he has for the country and the Filipino people. When SGOTUS Emhoff made a private call on the President after the vin d’honneur, he delivered a personal letter from President Biden inviting President Marcos to visit the White House at an opportune time.

As I shared during my interview with CNN’s Ria Tanjuatco Trillo last Friday, that was very significant because there is a concerted effort on the part of the United States to reach out to the new administration of President Marcos and move forward to make the relationship even stronger. President Biden was the first head of state to congratulate President Marcos. SGOTUS Emhoff is also a close personal friend of President Biden; representing him at the inaugural was a personal gesture coming from the US president.

Regarding our relationship with the United States, President Marcos said he would like to see more trade between the two nations. We have mounted quite a number of economic forums in the past and we will be doing more of that. In my conversation with Finance Secretary Ben Diokno, we agreed to continue, if not double our efforts, in promoting the Philippines and getting more investments from the United States.

We have actually been getting a lot of inquiries on how we could move forward with regard to economic trade between the Philippines and the US under the new administration. For my part, I am highly motivated to double the work we have been doing not only on the aspect of the economy but in other areas of mutual interest to bring the relationship to a higher level.

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Email: [email protected]

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

PRESIDENT

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