An Open Letter to Sen. BongBong Marcos

Dear Sen. BongBong Marcos (BBM),

I came across your “Open Letter to the People” (apparently it came from your FB post). The poster laments that it is unfortunate that what you are saying is not being listened to because of who your father is. Good point. Taking that as a cue, I hope that what is being said here will be listened to, as well, regardless of who my father is (or who I am).

Allow me to tell you why would I vote for you this May 2016 elections.

I believe you, when you said in your open letter, that you were just a precocious 15 year old when Martial Law was declared.

At 15 years old and pursuing your studies in the UK, your recollection of what was the state of the Philippines then (lawlessness, mounting criminality), the reasons why Martial Law was declared (insurgency, secessionists) and the effects of Martial Law (peace and order, cleaner streets, positive image, and so on) — I would take that. If that was your recollection, at 15 years old and far from home, at that — then so be it. You were just a teenager then. As once a teenager myself, there were probably more pressing concerns at that age than the state of the nation, like puberty and pimples. Indeed, you are not responsible for declaring Martial Law.

I believe you, when you said in your open letter, that, today, our nation is besieged with serious problems (poverty, hunger, peace & order, and so on) and that we cannot change “yesterday”. I believe you when you said that we can change the future by what we do today.

At 58 years old today, I do believe that you can change our future. You are now four-times over a teenager from when Martial Law was declared. You have now lived a full life — family, children and wisdom. With wisdom, you can now tell your children the answers to life’s big questions, aside from the one about the birds-and-the-bees, but truly about life’s BIG questions — what is right and wrong, what is just and unjust, what is true and untrue.

Sen. Bongbong, I would vote for you because I know, like I do and every responsible parent, you will do anything and everything to protect your children from what is wrong, what is unjust and what is untrue.

When you tell your children, and every Filipino’s children what is right, what is just and what is true — or to put it simply, the truth (and nothing but the truth) about your father’s presidency, then and only then I would vote for you. It is one simple action. No need to apologize.

I do not blame you for the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters (both from the military and civilian) that suffered and were killed during your father’s rule (or mother’s, depending on how you look at it). Whoever is responsible for those horrific acts (including those long dead and the living) will have to answer them before their god (and hopefully, our justice system for those that are still living).

Your father’s presidency is one of the pivotal chapters in our nation’s history, and it continues to divide the nation. You have to admit, he is such a polarizing figure in our nation’s history. Look at the name calling, the insults hurled by Filipinos to their fellow Filipinos.

Please do not continue to divide the nation. Our nation will remain divided for as long as our fellow Filipinos are not set free by the truth about your father’s presidency. Whether you are a Christian or not, it is indeed only the truth that can truly set our country free.

If you truly and deeply want to unify our nation by your Unity Caravan, then you know, deep in your heart, what needs to happen. You know what ultimate sacrifice you have to do — to truly unite this nation. I am still hoping that you have not become a Gollum yet. It is indeed a cross you need to bear, unfortunately. I understand that you will be turning against your mother, your sisters and your family’s friends. I understand that I am asking you to give up your “life” to unite the country — your life of comfort, of luxury — the only life you’ve ever known since you were a kid in Malacanang.

Tell the truth, Sen. Bongbong. Set yourself and the Filipinos free. Tell the truth to your children and every Filipino’s children how your family was able to amass such an enormous wealth. By now, you are well aware of the extent of your parent’s enormous wealth and how it was all hidden. Return those what rightly, justly and truly belongs to the Filipino people. Surely, when you were a precocious 15 year old in the UK, you must have wondered how can your parents afford to send you to the UK to study. You must have wondered yourself how your mother was able to buy all those jewelry, paintings, properties, and throw all those lavish parties like the one where you were wearing a twinkling red bow tie. (No Yamashita tall tales, please.)

There must be a reason why you are your father’s namesake. “Ferdinand Marcos” is a name that the world will forever associate to being “a tyrant and a thief”. You have all the opportunity to change all that. You can show the world that you are not your father (nor your mother). Yes, be like Luke Skywalker. You can show the world that there is that one rare fruit that does fall far from its tree. There is no other living Filipino that can truly unite a nation that is continuously being divided by a man’s presidency, but by the son himself.

I heard of a story that one of your father’s dying wish was to finally make it right with the Filipino people. I truly wish it were true. And if it were true, now is the time to make your father proud. Please change our nation’s future. Make it right with your children, and every Filipino’s children. Then and only then, I would vote for you, Sen. Bongbong Marcos.

In the meantime, I will be wearing my red bow tie.

Andres Jose

March 2016

“To foretell the destiny of a nation, it is necessary to open the book that tells of her past” — Jose Rizal