It’s too early to judge the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, president of the country’s bishops’ conference.
“The change of leadership in government will set new directions for the country, and it’s too soon to judge the way it is behaving itself,” said Bishop David in a report released by the Catholic News Service.
The prelate, however, warned that the Catholic faithful in the Philippines “are never comfortable” with the country’s new leaders.
“The president’s late father knew very well that the Church, as an institution, took a stand against the dictatorship. We didn’t mince words about referring to his father’s government as dictatorial and illegitimate,” said Bishop David, referring to the late president, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who ruled the country for two decades.
The elder Marcos was ousted by the so-called “People Power Revolution” where Church leaders played an important, if not crucial, role.
“The Catholic Bishops’ Conference made a very categorical stand against that dictatorship. And they never forgot that,” Bishop David told Catholic News Service.
He said, however, that the current president, Marcos Jr., deserves to be judged for his own actions.
“This president won an election following the constitution that unseated his father. And he’s aware of that. We’re now a democratic country with democratic institutions in place. He has to respect that. He has to respect the law,” said the prelate.
“If this new leadership starts behaving in a dictatorial way again, they’ll have to contend with a lot of resistance. People won’t take it sitting down,” warned the Church leader.
He said, however, the people seemed to have forgotten the past due to “a campaign of disinformation and historical revisionism.”
‘The new leadership won by suggesting that people had been unfair to his father and claiming that Marcos Sr. was one of the best presidents this country ever had. That worked because the younger generation has no memory of him, and Filipinos tend to be very shortsighted when it comes to historical remembering,” said Bishop David.
He said Marcos Jr. is under a lot of pressure to prove himself.
“He has always pointed out that he shouldn’t be judged against the deeds of his father. Maybe this is his chance to prove himself, prove that he is a better public servant than his father. It’s too soon to judge. He’s just getting started. He’s still selecting his people,” said the bishop.
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