“The young Marcos can now claim that he’s the first majority President, having clearly more than 50 percent of 64 million registered votes”
The six-year term of President Bongbong Marcos technically started at high noon yesterday, June 30, 2022, and likewise ends at high noon on June 30, 2028.
The first 100 days of the new President will be the most critical of his six-year term, so critical and so definitive that every move and every statement of BBM could constitute a headline.
My gulay, this had always been the case of every President whenever he assumed office.
The clear advantage of the young Marcos is that he won by landslide, which clearly showed that the majority of voters gave him a clear mandate for his presidency by over 17 million margin from the opposition candidate, former Vice President Leni Robredo.
And, more importantly, the young Marcos can now claim that he is the first majority President, having clearly more than 50 percent of 64 million registered votes.
As a journalist who covered Presidents from President Ramon Magsaysay, I say that in BBM’s choices for members of his Cabinet, it has been “so far, so good” that we can look up to better days ahead.
More importantly, BBM has shown what it takes to be a leader, showing political will by taking over the secretaryship of the Department of Agriculture “for now” to meet the growing threat of a looming food crisis.
Thus, BBM is expected to show the same political will in meeting all other challenges like high prices, joblessness and rising incidence of poverty and hunger.
Santa Banana, indeed the future looks good for us Filipinos within the next six years to come.
But, what is clearly needed is for us Filipinos to be united for the common good and national interest, and that, to me, is the greatest challenge to all for President Marcos.
I have said this before and I say it again that whether we like it or not, we can either sink or swim with him.
In saying that we can either sink or swim with the new President, there is the need for us to unite for the common good and national interest.
But, in saying that there is a need for national unity for national interest and common good, I say that, for a democracy to succeed, what we need now is a responsible and credible opposition.
It is for this reason that together, with all the challenges that President Marcos sees ahead of him, there is now the question on who will head a responsible and credible opposition.
I note that the defeated opposition candidate for President, Robredo, wants to make herself relevant.
There are reports coming from the Robredo camp that she wants to lead a campaign against disinformation and misinformation, apparently in an attempt to make relevant the discounted issues of Martial Law, together with alleged atrocities and ill-gotten wealth.
But, how can Robredo still be relevant when everybody knows that together with her defeat, the ruling opposition, the Liberal Party, or the Yellows turned “pinkos,” also meant the end of the Liberal party and Yellows turned “pinkos?”
While it’s still too early to guess who will lead a responsible and credible opposition, which is badly needed for a democracy to succeed, with the need for assent and dissent, I’m sure somebody will rise up to the occasion, not necessarily from the minority group in the Senate where the opposition usually comes from, but even from the Senate super majority itself.
But, “who” is the big question.
Every student of political science knows only too well that in a democracy where we live, it’s essential for the need of a responsible and credible opposition, but who?
Just recall that the Senate serves as the check and balance of the executive.
It’s for this reason why people expect that responsible and credible opposition will eventually come from the Senate.
That’s now the great guessing game.
When I say there is a need for a responsible and credible leader of the opposition, note that such a leader must have the credibility and the following to lead.
At the moment, I cannot guess on anything from the Senate yet.
At the moment, there are only two members of the minority in the Senate, Senator Koko Pimentel and Senator Risa Hontiveros.
SenatorAlan Peter Cayetano wants to join the minority and he’s angling for the chairmanship of the high profile Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
While Robredo says that the lone minority Senator Risa Hontiveros should be the leader of the opposition party, having been president of the Liberal Party, leadership is earned, not handed down.
Leadership, unlike in a dynasty where it is always handed down, must be earned by having credibility and respectability and supported and followed by the people, with due respect to Risa Hontiveros, who had been successful in some ways to expose scams and anomalies during the Duterte administration.
As I said, leadership must be earned, not handed down. In the first place, Robredo hardly had the leadership herself.
What I’m saying is that it’s too early to guess who can be the opposition leader.
As I write this column on a Wednesday, the incoming President, young Marcos, has not yet announced who will be his foreign affairs secretary, energy secretary, environment and natural resources secretary and health secretary.
These departments have to complete the Marcos administration.
The foreign affairs secretary is a very sensitive and crucial part of the young Marcos’ administration because of China’s frequent intrusions in the Exclusive Economic Zone and the withdrawal of the Philippines from the joint exploration with China, which China still has to continue.
As I write this column, it’s still anybody’s guess who will succeed Foreign Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin.
Likewise, as I write this column, there are speculations who will be the successor of health Secretary Francisco Duque II.
Whoever it will be must already be fully aware of the intricacy of the COVID-19 response of the government to the pandemic amid reports that the new surge is happening again and how to go about it.
At this point, with the COVID-19 pandemic still with us, it would do well for the young Marcos to choose well, because whoever he nominates must hit the ground running.
The new Energy Secretary is likewise very crucial in the wake of an incoming energy crisis.
With the plans of BBM to revive the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, the new Energy Secretary must also be able to hit the ground running.
And the incoming Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources as well..
I am sure that by the time this column will come out, BBM must have forged his future Cabinet.
As I had said, a President can only be as effective as the members of his Cabinet.
I repeat, whether we like it or not, we, the people, can either sink or swim with the Marcos administration.
Since, so far, so good, as I write this column , the choices of BBM for members of his Cabinet “have been so far, so good.”
I really hope and pray that the next six years will be a lot better for all Filipinos. Over 31 million voters gave their mandate to Marcos and I hope and pray that he will not disappoint us.