I honestly hate to keep constantly mocking and insulting Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. but a lot of the time he’s asking for it.
Never known to be a paragon of brilliance, or even simple intelligence, his pronouncements last week confirmed that he has little if any understanding of simple economics.
His first mega mistake was to deny what is already a given, that the Philippine economy is sailing rocky waters after official June figures pegged the country’s inflation at 6.1 percent.
He simply denied the figure as being too high.
Naturally, his Finance secretary and former Bangko Sentral governor Benjamin Diokno came to the president’s rescue, saying that what Marcos Jr. was referring to was the inflation figure for the year to-date, not June in particular.
Yet the reporter who asked the question clearly referred to the June number, as a transcript of the press con shows.
Real economists were quick to point out that the president had fumbled bigtime, and no amount of whitewashing by his Cabinet could undo what had been done.
Then there was his comments in a hastily called press briefing at the end of last week, where he again displayed his — how do I put this without insulting his intelligence? – failure to appreciate the finer points of basic economic.
Read his word for word statement and weep, folks.
To a reporter’s query on what his plans were for his Cabinet, the verbatim Q&A is as follows:
Reporter: May we know if ano po yong marching order ninyo to all Cabinet members?
Marcos: O you cannot…I don’t think we can do we can mean it…save one…ahhh…I think…ah…essentially is ah…the…we…we got it to much more details that so there is no generalization anymore. So each department ahh…has ahh ahh…has a different…has a different instruction…”
I offer a prize of a month’s supply of toilet paper to anyone who can explain to me in words that a 10-year-old can understand what the president of our poor country was trying to say.
And if you think it ended there, well I have a most unpleasant surprise for you, especially if you’re a fanboy or girl of this so-called 17th president of the Philippines.
He continued his spiel thus: “The only thing that we have to that that what…gave it…looks like is how that we have to realize how interconnected for the government is that…that everything is done on one hand…affects…ah the government in another place. So there is not single one. I suppose if there is one single one is that can be…ahh…Let’s get our ahh…bureaucracy strict.”
Anyone who believes I am not telling the truth can simply look for his briefing on YouTube. Just don’t blame me if you find yourself having suicidal thoughts.
I must correct myself. I will throw in another month’s supply of bath soap and shampoo to my offer. Just, please, please, please, tell me what he really wanted to say.
That recent non-statement should make most economists concerned, as if it is not handled properly, the Philippines could go into freefall not unlike Sri Lanka, which over the weekend had its own version of People Power, resulting in the forced resignation of its president.
He likes being compared to his late dictator-father. Well, I have news for him. For all his faults, his old man was mentally sharp, and quick on his feet when asked difficult questions.
Junior clearly cannot hold a candle to Senior. But if there’s anything good about him, it is that Junior is not likely to declare martial law. To do so would be tantamount to committing political hara kiri, placing a permanent damper on his son whom he is grooming to one day follow in his footsteps.
Good thing he did not name Sandro as Ferdinand A. Marcos lll. And if past press releases are to be believed, his apparent favorite son is a bona fide college graduate from a top school in the UK.
During the campaign season, a photo was posted on social media from the Marcos camp showing Sandro wearing the toga that college grads get to wear on the day they receive their diploma.
Maybe the kid takes after his mom, who is a lawyer.
A friend of mine who heads a top 1,000 corporation told our viber group that reading that odd answer of Ferdinand Junior to a simple question only succeeded in giving him a headache. I’m sure he was joking when he said his ears bled.
Another buddy could only say, “We have six more years of this???”
This week, the 17th president supposedly had COVID-19, and I wish him well. I hope he recovers quickly, then asks his respectable economic team to give him a briefing on Economics 101.
It isn’t that hard, actually.
While economics is not a precise science, it is considered a social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
If he does not understand the vagaries of micro and/or macro economics, the very least he can do is to consult with his economic team and ask them two things: One, what is the problem with the Philippine economy? And two, what is (or are) the best solution to the problem?
Another thing. When faced with a question that he does not know the answer to, he should defer the matter. He can say, “Let me get back to you,” or maybe “I can give you a detailed answer to that later. I’ll send it to you via email.”
This way, he gives the impression that he is giving serious thought to matters that count. And nothing, but nothing, is more important at this stage of his presidency that fixing the country’s wobbly economy.
He must also show that he is on top of the situation, that he is in charge, and that there is no need to panic.
Finally, Marcos Jr. must stop winging it. No more nonsensical answers to serious questions, please.
Maybe someone should read him the Miranda warning. He has the right to remain silent. Anything he says can and will be used against him in a court of law.
To simplify, he should just shut the f@ck up when he does not know the answer to any question.
Can I bill him a billion bucks for my sage advice?