Marcos fails to impress activists in inauguration speech

Among those who closely listened to Ferdinand Marcos’ Jr’s inauguration speech, activist groups were unimpressed with the new Philippine president’s words, calling it a string of worn-out rhetoric without concrete programs to address the country’s problems.

Human rights lawyers said they have heard Marcos Jr’ words more than half a century ago, adding his mantra of unity is but a tired cliché and cosmetization for continuing impunity for past, present and even the future wrongs.

“Yet prove us wrong that the dark, dangerous and sordid yesterdays are not going to be our same bad, base and miserable todays and tomorrows,” National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia said.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said Marcos Jr’s only used the historic event to heap praise on his father’s so-called legacy, conveniently avoiding any mention of the ousted dictator’s fascism in his long reign in the 60s to the 80s.

“He was very selective in what he wanted to highlight with his father’s so-called achievements, and even those need to be fact-checked and not be taken as gospel truth,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said after the new president’s inauguration on Thursday, June 30.

Reyes said that Marcos Jr’s claim he shares the same dream as the ordinary Filipino is mere platitude, omitting mention of his privileged position.

“The major issues such as high oil prices, crushing taxes, low wages, and human rights were altogether ignored or left out,” Reyes added.

Reyes pointed out that Marcos only promised to “get things done” but fails to give any concrete program how he intends to do so.

“Twice he tells us a comprehensive plan is being draw up to address the issues facing the people. The public however will have to wait until the incoming regime gets its act together, and even then, we are unsure of the outcome of Marcos’ pronouncements,” Reyes said.

“We should brace ourselves for more of the same. Indeed, there are no reasons to celebrate this day,” he added.

Marcos’ failure to present even an outline of an economic agenda also disappointed

IBON Foundation’s Sonny Africa who said Marcos Jr appeared to have failed to prepare since he won the elections in May.

“A serious presidency would’ve have prepared its economic agenda long ago and not waited until after elections. Our huge problems deserve no less,” Africa said.

“President Marcos and his economic team clearly aren’t ready nor brining any new ideas to fix our old problems,” Africa added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)