Giving flesh to Bongbong’s unity
By Al S. Mendoza
IN his inaugural speech as the country’s 17th president on June 30 at the National Museum, Ferdinand “BBM” Marcos Jr. did not mention about unity.
A surprise, indeed, as he kept mouthing the word in his numerous speeches during the campaign for the May 9 polls.
He would alternately say “unity” and “pagkakaisa” as the hallmark of his call for people’s vote during the 90-day stump season.
I find that unbelievable—even unthinkable.
It was his call for unity that practically catapulted him to Malacanang, in the process towing the entire disgraced Marcos clan back to the Palace.
Only through unity or pagkakaisa will the country achieve progress and economic growth, he would always intone in his rallies in his travels across the archipelago.
And then came the much-awaited State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Again, he also did not mention anything about unity in his first Sona on July 25 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
Instead, BBM—or Bongbong as he is fondly called—delved heavily on economic reforms in a bid to spur quick growth to an ailing economy badly battered by the pandemic.
He zeroed in on radical tax alterations, seducing both local and foreign investors to come pour in money to escalate revenue movement.
Commendable as it may seem, it is a bit ironic that he would espouse for new tax directions when he himself was embroiled in an ugly entanglement with Mr. Taxman.
Hasn’t he been convicted of tax evasion, an occasion that spurred civil libertarians to file cases—nixed by the Comelec and subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court—of disqualification against BBM?
And yes, isn’t there also that nagging issue of the Marcos family ignoring court orders to pay taxes accruing to Marcos estate concerns amounting to more than P203 billion now?
Patay mali lang? Dedma?
Roughly translated: Ignore them as if such subjects had not existed at all?
For one thing, a President is immune from suits.
For another, who would now dare to revive the matter?
Now going back to unity.
What if BBM had invited his beaten presidential foes during his inauguration?
Would that not be big deal?
If his opponents—Robredo, Pacquiao, Moreno, Lacson, De Guzman, Mangodadato, Montemayor, Abrera and Gonzales—arrived, well and good. Sport lang.
If they didn’t, bad. Sour grapes.
He could also have invited all nine protagonists to his Sona.
That’d be a ton of pogi points.
To make it emphatic, to prove that the invite is for real and not just for show, BBM could have provided nine VIP seats in the gallery reserved for the nine defeated candidates.
If all nine took their seats, a win for BBM?
A pity no one from his think tank had thought about it.
The move could have meant only one thing: Giving flesh to BBM’s unity spin.
A lost opportunity.
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