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Exorcising Political Ghosts In 2010 (Updated)

July 11, 2009


Prof blackshama over at got me thinking with his piece on Michael Jackson’s ghostly apparition at Neverland as a live report on the recently deceased King of Pop was airing on CNN’S Larry King Live.

Indeed we can only contemplate how people behave after the soul separates from its earthly vessel but have not yet quite tied up the loose ends they left in the temporal world.

We Filipinos even have a term for it – ang pagpaparamdam (literally ‘making one’s presence felt) to those the departed feels close to and in whose affairs they’ve had played significant role in, or influence on.

In our own political firmament, one political ghost haunting us is perhaps that of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos.

As his preserved mortal remains have stayed unburied, so has his impact on the Filipino political psyche remained: the politization, the bata-bata system in the military, the payolas for legislative lapdogs, and yes, deeply-rooted corruption in public service – all motivated by the pursuit of survivalist political goals and inordinate need to accumulate material wealth: brazen, ‘un-moderated’ greed.

The political genius that Marcos was, he left us with formulae on “constitutional authoritarianism”, charter change,bogus ambushes and curiously sequenced bombings to feed public insecurity.

In the end one can say even People Power is Marcos’ sole positive  legacy, so much so that Filipinos have found use for it not once, but twice, to rid themselves of unwanted leaders.

But if our polity will truly mature, Filipinos must exorcise the political ghosts in our midst and say firmly, Sobra Na, Tama Na. Umunlad  Na Tayo.

For the purveyors of transactional, corrupt, and oppressive misgovernance, let their machinations to illegally  retain power be thwarted by  our commitment to the rule of law and.

On May 10, 2010 Filipinos need to stop voting on the basis of political favors and the put-on charisma of traditional politicians and pick the next President, Senators,and Representatives on the basis of their vision and platform of governance.

Then the haunting will end.


The politicial landscape as shifted considerable since I first wrote this in July.

It does appear that FM’s ‘ghost’ is no longer as palpably present.

Scanning the field of ‘viable’ senatorial aspirants, among the names with unmistakable ‘recall’ is that of Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, FM’S namesake and only son.

, is taking another crack at being elected to the Senate – the once August chamber that catapulted his father to the presidency in 1965 on the promise that he would “make this nation great again.”

He has a distinctly youthful appeal and speaks with the distinct cadence his dad was known for.

Given his record as congressman, the young Marcos can perhaps be among those who can elevate the quality of debate and legislative work in the next Senate.

Bongbong Marcos  may very well aspire to become President one day.

If he becomes Senator, it will one big  step toward redeeming his father’s legacy.

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