An open letter to Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

Dear Mr. Marcos,

Greetings, Mr. Ex-senator and presidential wannabe.

I hope this letter finds you well. I trust your family is also in good health these days.

I know you are pretty busy these days, so I will go straight to the point of this missive. But first, let me be honest. I will not vote for you. Not in a million years. Not even when the blackbirds turn white and the whales sing like canaries.

Having said that, I will now ask you pointblank: Why are you running for president? What do you hope to accomplish? Do you hope to establish a similar presidency as your late father, God rest his soul and forgive him for all his sins?

I ask because as far as I can see, you do not seem to have a program of government. No one knows what a President Bongbong regime will be like.

Thus far, you have given some small ideas of what your six-year term will be like.

You have more or less indicated that you plan to continue where Rodrigo Duterte is leaving off.

Is this right, or am I mistaken?

You said that your China policy will hew closely to that of the Duterte administration, correct? So this means you will also treat President Xi as the lord and savior of the Philippines, I gather?

This means that you will also continue availing of loans from China, which may be readily available but which charge interest rates roughly four times what other friendly nations like Japan would charge us.

Interesting. You may want to discuss this matter with a certain Leni Robredo, who happens to be an economist.

As for the legality of continuing the pivot to China, which has been encroaching on Philippine territory since 2016, you may also want to discuss this with the same Leni Robredo, who also happens to be a lawyer.

I do not know her personally, but I sense that she is a good person who is willing to help the Philippines in any way that she can. This even means working with you despite your contesting her win over you six years ago.

How’s this for a suggestion. Why not let bygones be bygones and work with President Robredo?

Ooops. Never, huh? Sorry about that. Delete, delete.

If you don’t mind, may I also ask why you recently displayed a lack of knowledge where international law is concerned? You mistook the International Criminal Court with the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The former is about to charge your friend Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity. Bad, no? As for the latter, it’s where the Philippine won in its case against China over who owns the West Philippine Sea.

That case was filed by the late former President Benigno Aquino III. You’ve met him, I seem to recall. You even went to the wake of his late mother, former President Cory Aquino.

That was a fine display of statesmanship, by the way. But sadly, it was one of too few and far between on your part. At least you showed that you had it in you to extend a hand of friendship on what many consider to be your mortal enemies, the Aquinos of Tarlac.

Guess what, Mr. Marcos. If you’ve read any of my past writings, you may think that I am one of your enemies too.

I’m not, I assure you. See, all I’ve been waiting for is for you to apologize for the sins of your father. Your fans say the sins of the father should not be deemed as the sins of the son, too. This is correct, for the most part. But what I find disturbing is that you’ve been enjoying the fruits of your father’s…how do I put this?…the fruits of his ability to amass vast wealth that made him the richest man in Asia.

You’ve never ridden a jeepney in your entire life, have you? Or eaten in a humble carinderia, or a jollijeep?

By golly, you’ve never even flown in coach, have you? It’s always been first class. Not even the mid-range business class for you, no?

So how in God’s name do you hope to help the Filipino people if you are clueless on the  struggles they have to face every day, of having to make enough money to feed their families three square meals a day, pay for rent in nominally decent housing, and buy enough clothes for their kids?

You know nothing, do you Bongbong?

Do you mind if I call you Bongbong? It was a cute nickname when you were young, but good God, sir! You’re already a senior citizen like me.

Know what? I used to have a cute nickname too. I had two, actually. In high school, I was called Django. No kidding. But my older relatives always knew me as Baby Ting. Even when I reached middle age, I was still Baby Ting.

I’m Beting now, of course. One T. Like Sara with no H.

Funny thing though, a few friends still pronounce my name Beteng. It’s kinda mildly irritating, you know? I mean how would you like it if you were called Bungbung?

But I digress.

As I ask, why are you running for president? What do you hope to accomplish?

Please, please, please do not give me motherhood statements like you want to unite the people, lift the lot of the poor, and turn the country into the paradise it was when your old man was president.

Since you haven’t really accomplished anything of note in your decades in public service, what can you really do?

You and I both know the answer. Nothing. You cannot do anything for the people of the Republic of the Philippines.

This is the sad truth.

At least you gave some trolls some form of employment. This way, the hidden, ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses finds its way back into the economy.

Good for you, bro.

To end this rather long letter, I humbly ask you to abandon your quest to be president. You are not your father. You are you. And you will never be President of the Republic of the Philippines.

God bless you, Bongbong.

Do you still want to be called Bongbong?

Why don’t I just call you Bong? Or Bobong, maybe?

Respectfully yours,

Beting Laygo Dolor

(formerly known as Baby Ting and/or Django)