Voter education” was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on June 4, 2016.

Whether the presidential race was a referendum on the performance of the PNoy Administration remains a disputed point among political analysts. What seems clearer is that the vice-presidential contest was a referendum on the historical record of Ferdinand Marcos.

Bongbong Marcos made it so by: insisting that his father be accorded a hero’s burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani; dismissing the claims of human rights victims of Martial Law; and denying the complicity of the Marcos family and himself in concealing the plundered funds the PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Governance) sought to recover.

The strategy nearly worked. It took much time and effort for the Robredo Team and the Silent Majority to debunk the Bongbong Marcos glorification of Ferdinand’s World War II record and the assertion that the 14-year (1972-85) autocratic rule imposed by Ferdinand Marcos represented the country’s Golden Age.

The Marcos campaign benefitted from three factors: the ignorance of the millennial generation about 20th century Philippine history; the frustration among the A, B, C economic sectors with the failure of government to relieve the problems of daily life in the cities; and the nostalgia of those among the older generation not directly involved in the struggle against the Marcos Regime for the more tranquil time that the early years of “smiling martial law” appeared to promise. Continue reading

Edilberto de Jesus
Edilberto de Jesus is a former Secretary of Education. He is also professor emeritus at the Asian Institute of Management.