Principles matter as much as competence
Lately, apart from the anniversary of the declaration of martial law last September, there has been revived talk in the echo chambers of social media — TikTok included — about the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. This time, the discussion is not only on the lies and propaganda in favor of the Marcoses but also on how the presidential candidates stand on issues.
One of the presidential candidates is the son of Marcos himself, thus the discussion has become more muddled. People are insisting that their claims should be respected as “opinion” protected by freedom of speech.
I find it ironic that those who still believe in the fabricated greatness of the 20-year Marcos regime find comfort and refuge in the right to free speech enshrined in the 1987 Constitution, when this is the same freedom their idol suppressed with the declaration of martial law in 1972.
This does not include the court decisions in the country and abroad, the stories of martial law victims, and the historical record that altogether debunk their claim of the so-called golden years.
But this is their strategy. They attack legitimate institutions to spread misinformation on social media and fill in the gaps in our elementary and high school history textbooks.
In light of these, equally important are the positions of candidates not only on current issues but also on the wrongs of the past, especially those that continue to bleed and divide. One may be well-equipped to run the government bureaucracy and implement projects that help Filipinos. But what about their moral compass? Where do they stand on social justice, for instance? Vision is not only about infrastructure, roads, and bridges, but more importantly, the notion of a society that adheres to the rule of law and rises above individual whims.
EDWARD JOSEPH H. MAGUINDAYAO
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