How Bongbong Marcos mirrors father’s image in campaign

By Patty Pasion

Source: Rappler.com

 

IN PHOTOS: The elements in the campaigns of the late president Ferdinand Marcos and his son, Senator Bongbong Marcos, are strikingly similar

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON. The late president Ferdinand Marcos and son Bongbong are not just look-a-likes. Their campaigns also have common elements. Photo of Bongbong Marcos by Jasmin Dulay/Photo of Ferdinand Marcos from Imelda Romualdez Marcos’ website

MANILA, Philippines – Probably the biggest challenge of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr as a politician and now a vice presidential aspirant is freeing himself from the shadow of his father, the late president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The incumbent senator, at least for this election, has tried to build up his own identity as a public leader. He rarely talks about his father when campaigning. He only mentions “Apo” Marcos when he visits legacy project sites of the former president.

But despite these efforts, Marcos Jr still does not completely sever ties with the late strongman as some elements of his campaign still mirror his father’s. (READ: ‘I’m not my father’s copycat’ – Bongbong Marcos)

 

The V-sign

GO MARCOS. The victory sign has been an iconic hand gesture of the late president Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

The hand gesture has stuck to the minds of Marcos loyalists that it has also become a regular feature in the senator’s campaign.

The former president Marcos first used the sign in his 1965 campaign against Diosdado Macapagal. The sign went with a stop hand signal and the tagline “Stop, Mac. Go, Marcos.”

Veteran political campaigner Reli German, who was part of Marcos’ advertisements at the time, said they picked up the sign from United States President Dwight Eisenhower. Post-war US presidents such as Eisenhower and Harry Truman used the sign to hail their victories in the elections.

Photo from the website of Imelda Romualdez-Marcos

BAGONG SILANG. VP candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr talks to his supporters during his sortie in North Caloocan on February 17. File photo by Jasmin Dulay

Photo from the website of Imelda Romualdez-Marcos

SOLID NORTH. Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr during his third day of election sorties in the northern provinces of the Philippines on January 11, 2016. File photo by Jasmin Dulay

 

The shirt-jack

FURTHER NORTH. Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr continues to visit various places in the north on the second day of his election sortie on February 10. File photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

Marcos Jr often wears a shirt-jack in his sorties – a fashion piece the late strongman also donned in many occasions. There is also a variation of the traditional barong Tagalog cut in a shirt-jack style, often used by politicians when campaigning or when visiting localities.

The senator’s shirt-jack pieces are different from his father’s because they are designed with strips of red, blue and yellow – the colors of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) Party. Formed in 1978, it was a coalition of parties supporting the former president.

Photo from the website of Imelda Romualdez-Marcos

FAVORITE. Vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos is mobbed by the elderly in Alabang, Muntinlupa on February 22. File photo by Joel Liporada/Rappler

Photo from the website of Imelda Romualdez-Marcos

CAMPAIGNING. Vice Presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos during his election campaign in Davao City. File photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

 

Blue and red theme

File photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

Blue and red were the campaign colors of the late dictator during his first bid in 1986 and the snap elections where he ran for reelection against former president Corazon Aquino.

VINTAGE. Some old campaign paraphernalia of the late president Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Patty Pasion/Rappler

PARAPHERNALIA. Campaign materials of vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. Photo by Patty Pasion/Rappler

MEMORABILIA. Some old campaign materials of the late president Ferdinand Marcos. Photo by Patty Pasion/Rappler

PARAPHERNALIA. Campaign materials of vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. Photo by Patty Pasion/Rappler

 

Smart campaign

For political analyst Aries Arugay, Marcos’ strategy is a smart balance of taking advantage of the privilege of being a Marcos and also “veering away from the possible baggage” that comes with it.

For someone born with a household family name in Philippine politics, winning the elections – or mounting a successful campaign, at the very least – can already be served on a silver platter.

But Marcos’ situation is tricky because his family receives polar opposite receptions from the people: it’s either they fanatically love them or bitterly hate them.

“It’s a subtle invoking of his pedigree, but his handlers, I think, know [they] cannot fully [talk] about his pedigree because it might raise more questions,” Arugay added.

 

  • April 11, 2016
  • News
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