President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered a powerful message to the Filipino people during the kick-off rally for “Bagong Pilipinas” at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. He emphasized the importance of unity in the face of emerging global challenges and urged the nation to support the government’s efforts in bringing about a “new Philippines.”
Describing “Bagong Pilipinas” as more than just a slogan, Marcos outlined it as a masterplan that aims to benefit all Filipinos. He emphasized that this initiative goes beyond his administration and is a call for deep and fundamental transformation in all sectors of society and government. The goal is to unite the country in nation-building and improve government services, bringing them closer to the people.
To achieve this vision, Marcos highlighted the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 as the backbone of the Bagong Pilipinas initiative. He reminded those in government that they are public servants, not lords, and that while power emanates from the people, change must come from the government itself.
Under Bagong Pilipinas, Marcos emphasized the need for efficient and responsive government services. He stressed that deadlines must be met, red tape must be replaced with a red carpet, and laziness will not be tolerated. The focus is on providing fast and effective services to the Filipino people.
However, amidst this call for unity and transformation, tensions between the Marcos and Duterte families have come to the forefront. Sebastian Duterte, the youngest son of Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, publicly called on the President to step down during a rally in their family’s bailiwick. He blamed Marcos for the drug and communist insurgency problems in Mindanao.
The strained relationship between the two families stems from their efforts to secure support bases and key positions ahead of the upcoming mid-term elections and the 2028 presidential race. Marcos’ support for changing the Constitution to allow more foreign investment has created further division, as the Dutertes have publicly opposed this move.
Critics warn that this constitutional change could potentially pave the way for Marcos to seek another six-year term, which is currently prohibited. This would potentially put him in direct conflict with Sara Duterte, who is widely expected to contest the 2028 presidential race. Marcos has suggested that the political provisions of the Constitution, including term limits, should be addressed at a later time.
The political landscape surrounding these families has been described by some as a “dynastic war among ruling elites,” with concerns raised about whether the interests of regular Filipinos are being served. However, amidst the political tensions, there are still supporters who believe in Marcos and his ability to lead the country.
In Manila, some attendees at the Rizal Park rally expressed their faith in Marcos, even though they admitted to having limited knowledge about the Constitution controversy. They expressed their willingness to support him as long as he continues to do a good job for the country. Others voiced their desire for new leadership, believing that the Dutertes belong to the past.
The rally at Rizal Park attracted thousands of people, with early arrivals enjoying a free concert. The enthusiasm of the crowd demonstrated the level of interest and support for Marcos’ vision of a “new Philippines.” However, it is important to note that the unity and transformation called for by Marcos extend beyond political rallies and require sustained efforts from all sectors of society.
As the journey towards a “new Philippines” continues, it is crucial for the Filipino people to stay engaged, informed, and actively participate in shaping the future of their nation. The vision of Bagong Pilipinas can only be realized through collective efforts and a commitment to unity and transformation at all levels of society and government.
Source: The Manila Times