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Bongbong Marcos Considers Himself 'Machiavellian' and Explains Why

Here's how he responded.
by Erwin Colcol
Mar 27, 2022
Photo/s: Lakas-CMD

Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos on Saturday explained why he considers himself a Machiavellian as he was asked in an interview on SMNI television to describe himself as the Philippines' possible leader.

The son of the late dictator was asked by political analyst Clarita Carlos during "The Deep Probe: The SMNI Presidential Candidates Interview" whether he thinks of himself as a Machiavellian.

"Am I Machiavellian? Well, I've studied him quite thoroughly, and I know very many Machiavellians in my life," Marcos told Carlos.

Carlos then asked Marcos to clarify if he referred to being Machiavellian as "taking every means to produce an end," and "not the other, bad Machiavellian."

"Certainly," Marcos responded, adding that it's about knowing the situation on the ground to help achieve success.

"It's a way of being careful and being very very knowledgeable about what are the things that have to come into play so that you will achieve success, whatever that success, however you define that success. So in that sense, yes ma'am, I am a Machiavellian," he said.

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Named after Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, scholars define Machiavellianism as a "personality trait characterized by interpersonal manipulation and associated with specific patterns of emotional and social cognition skills."

Those who exhibit high levels of Machiavellianism show signs of interpersonal manipulation, such as "the use of flattery and deceit, as well as by aloof, cynical, and traditionally amoral viewpoints adopted in order to promote their own goals/interests," according to a 2013 study on the personality trait.

Marcos also characterized himself as an optimist and conservative as a leader.

"The reason I'm essentially an optimist because especially when we talk about the country, I am optimistic because our biggest asset is the Filipino people," he said.

"When it comes to national issues, I tend to be conservative only because a mistake will cause so much suffering to so many people. In other words, you have to be very careful with the decisions you make and it's not something that you do offhand," he added.

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Marcos is currently the frontrunner in the presidential race according to various pre-election surveys. Together with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, he is running under the campaign message centered on unity.


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