Marcos Jr.’s presidential bid: Now or never
The question has never been answered directly: What made Sara Duterte opt for the vice presidency in favor of Bongbong Marcos Jr., despite crystal-clear indications earlier that she would settle for no other post but the presidency? Even her closest aides are scratching their heads in light of the general perception, per the various surveys, that she would handily beat all the other presidential wannabes.
Her excuse for that change of heart is as lame as it could get: It’s a halfway compromise between her own preference to remain local, and her fans’ desire for her to go national as the next president. Deals like that are never that shallow and taken at face value.
It’s no rocket science, really. The Marcoses are said to be the mega-wealthiest family hereabouts. Countless Supreme Court decisions attest to the enormity of the “ill-gotten wealth” they had amassed during the decades-long misrule of Marcos Jr.’s father. While the Marcoses denied the existence of such wealth, they hired the best international lawyers that money could buy to block the numerous attempts to look into their foreign accounts.
For Marcos Jr. and his family, it’s now or never. By another presidential election year (2028), he would be past 70 years old. Of what use will all their wealth be if his indomitable mother (now 92 years old) may no longer be around to savor their recapture of Malacañang? Google’s estimate of this family’s available wealth is at least $5 billion (P250 billion!), not to mention other overseas accounts still hidden. The Marcoses certainly can afford to throw away hundreds of millions, or even a few billions, at anything that might stand in the way of another “dying wish”—after the “hero’s burial” for their much-maligned old man that President Duterte granted during his first year in office.
SCARLET S. SYTANGCO
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