It is a shame. I had been rooting for Sen. Miriam Santiago even before she announced that she would run for President of the Republic of the Philippines in 2016. I found her to be vigilant in addressing corruption and combating it. She is bold, and she will not back down if she knows she is right. She has the personal appeal and charisma to pull the young audience of our time. I was ready, and I was going to put all efforts behind her campaign if she decided to run.
On October 13th of this year (the same exact date in 1917 that the sun danced at Fatima – called “The Miracle of the Sun”), Sen. Santiago announced that she would run for President. I was elated! Finally, a viable candidate whom I can bet my bottom dollar. Among all candidates who announced their intent to run for President, she was the only one whom I thought would be fitting to take the highest office in the land. Her announcement being the 13th of October made it special for me simply because of the country’s history affiliated with the Blessed Mother. I thought of it as a strong sign. The perfect candidate. Until…
Two days after her announcement, she also announces that she has chosen Sen. Bong Bong Marcos to be her running mate as Vice President. Until this time, I thought that Sen. Miriam’s position to become the next President of the Philippines was already in the bag. She’s received a lot of praise and support after she announced her intent to run for President. This time, she received a lot of criticism for choosing a descendant of the most corrupt dictator who governed the country for two decades to run with her. And yes, I read the article by David Yap II on Rappler.com. It did not convince me. To me, Sen. Miriam Santiago became just “one of the guys” after having paired with Bong Bong Marcos.
I read something else that made more sense as to why Miriam’s choice of Bong Bong as running mate was a bad decision. It was an article written by Juan Regragio, responding to the Rappler.com article. His response to David Yap’s article was spot on, and if you ask me, the points Juan made in his article was factual and not some information pulled from thin air just to make a point. I am not saying that Mr. Yap pulled his information out of thin air but to compare the atrocities and human rights violations during the Marcos era to what has occurred in the last 30 years doesn’t carry weight with me. Another thing: to tell me that “if the last name of a candidate is your sole metric for your judgment, then you are, by definition, an uneducated voter” is an insult.
In my opinion, the fruit doesn’t fall far very from the tree. Look at the Arroyos. The Binays. Would anyone of you want to put a Marcos back in power again? I know that you put him back in Senate, and you voted for his mother, Imelda Marcos to be Governor of Leyte. His sister, Imee Marcos was voted to be Governer of Ilocos Norte. If Hitler had offsprings, would you vote them into public office?
I agree that we should not punish the children for their parents’ mistakes. We can say that maybe, just maybe, Bong Bong will not do the things his father had done. But we know what power can do to a person. A person can easily change at a drop of a hat. To avoid that, let’s not put them in that situation.
Still, the Philippines is a free country (at least since 1986!), and you can do whatever you want with your vote. It is your right, and you have that choice to make. My choice would be not to vote for Bong Bong Marcos. If that means not to vote for Sen. Miriam Santiago, so be it.