'So Will It Be With the Son': How Bongbong Marcos is Influenced by His Father

The family is back in Malacanang after 36 years.
Photo/s: Ted Aljibe, Agence France-Presse

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. took office in Malacañang on Thursday saying that like his late father, he would lead the country with "no excuses"

The 64-year-old only son and namesake of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. recalled how his father worked to solve poverty "in a land of people with the greatest potential for achievement."

"But he got it done, sometimes, with the needed support, sometimes without," he said. "So will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me."

"I am here not to talk about the past. I am here to tell you about our future. A future of sufficiency, even plenty, of readily available needs to get done what needs doing, by you, by me," Marcos Jr. said.

"Our future, we decide today. Yesterday cannot make that decision anymore, nor tomorrow can delay it," he said.

Accompanied by his wife, first lady Liza Marcos, and their three sons Sandro, Vinny, and Simon, the 64-year-old president waved to Filipinos after his noon oath-taking at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

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Marcos Jr. assumes the presidency 50 years since his late father first declared martial law deemed the darkest chapter in Philippine history.

He takes over the government as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic that has dragged the economy down and as Filipinos struggle with soaring prices of fuel and commodities.

In his speech, Marcos Jr. warned Filipinos that "the immediate months will be rough but I will walk that road with you", acknowledging the problems plaguing the country.

"We do not look back but ahead, up ahead to a place better than the one that we had during the pandemic," he said. 

Political analysts have said that a Marcos presidency would most likely be a continuation of former president Rodrigo Duterte's government with the former's family highlighting their alliance that broke election records.

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Critics fear that a Marcos presidency could rewrite the narrative of his father's nearly three-decade rule that saw 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 tortured, and 3,240 killed, according to Amnesty International. His sister, Sen. Imee Marcos, has rejected such criticism, saying the family will tell their "side of the story."

"I don't think that's our effort at all. We will not revise anything," Imee said in a previous interview.

"All we will do is to also make known, make public what we know, our side of the story which we have perhaps been remiss in not telling simply because we were so scared of traditional media, of all the abuse, the insults. So hindi na, naging tameme na. We'll just tell our side of the story as best we can," she added.

The senator also said during her brother's proclamation as president-elect that what's important for them is that "the legacy of my father is what we hope will be clarified at last" noting that she sees her brother's victory as a "restoration of faith and confidence" in their family.

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