PHILIPPINES Marcos Jr. takes office as president, reclaiming his father’s inheritance

In Manila, the new president is sworn in and returns to the Malacanang Palace with his mother, Imelda. In the new government, the Ministry of Agriculture will remain under the presidential sphere. In his investiture speech, Marcos Jr attacked the mechanisms of global trade. He praised Duterte’s infrastructure development, but admitted mistakes in the fight against Covid.

Manila () – Thirty-six years after the peaceful People Power revolution (the EDSA revolution), the Marcos family officially returns today to the Malacanang Palace, residence of the President of the Philippines. It did so with the official inauguration of Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, son of the former dictator who led the country until 1986. The new president was elected with more than 58% of the votes in the elections held on May 9.

Marcos Jr. was sworn in at the National Museum in Manila. In the first row was his mother, the elderly Imelda Marcos, at a ceremony in which the new president asked “to look more to the future than to the past.” And although he appealed for the unity of the entire country, he did not stop claiming the legacy of his father. “I met a man,” he said, “who saw how little he had accomplished since independence. In a land of people with great potential, and yet poor. He worked a lot. Sometimes with the necessary support, sometimes without it. He will also his son. They won’t hear any excuses from me.”

Regarding his government program, during his inauguration speech, Marcos Jr. placed special emphasis on agriculture, a department that, at least in this first stage, will remain under the purview of the president. He harshly criticized the international mechanisms of agricultural markets, which are showing their limits in the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. “The most vulnerable,” he noted, “are the countries furthest from the conflict, those that were not to blame for provoking it. Yet they are the ones most at risk of starvation. Even if financial aid is given to these countries – which never happens – there is nothing to buy. “Food is not just a commercial good,” he continued, “it is an existential and moral imperative. Food self-sufficiency must receive preferential treatment, which rich countries have always reserved for their agricultural sectors.”

Another key issue is school and education, whose ministry has been entrusted to Vice President Sara Duterte, daughter of the outgoing president. Marcos Jr. asked to rethink the content and teaching methods. “I’m not talking about history,” he said, referring to the controversy over the memory of the years of his father’s dictatorship, “I’m referring to the foundations, the sciences and professional training. We are condemning the future of our people.” pushing people “to work in humble jobs abroad, to then be exploited by traffickers”.

In the field of Health, Marcos Jr admitted the shortcomings of the Duterte administration in its response to Covid-19: ‘We will solve them by daylight’. No more secrets in public health,” he promised. Instead, he acknowledged that the outgoing president has built infrastructures “more and better than all the administrations that succeeded my father.” However, in the investiture speech there was no mention of to the controversial “war on drugs” that left more than 6,000 dead in the years of Duterte’s presidency.

Lastly, the issue of climate change -with typhoons, which claim more and more victims in the Philippines- was the occasion for a new attack against the West: “The rich world talks a lot, but does much less compared to those who have less but has suffered more death and destruction,” he said. “We will turn to our partners and friends to help the Philippines, which, despite having a very small carbon footprint, is more exposed. But we must also do our homework: we are the third largest plastic polluter in the world. We are not going to evade this responsibility, we are going to clean it up,” promised the new president.

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Written by Editor TLN

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