by Emmanuel S. Tipon, Esq.
“My destiny is to be in love with you
Makes no difference what you say or do
I must stay in love with you
That’s my destiny
It’s the thing you can’t control”
– Singer Billy Eckstine in “My Destiny”
An Ilocano playboy does not believe in destiny when it comes to success in love. He says destiny places too much reliance on a Divine Providence who is believed to be guiding “the destinies of men and nations.”
He believes more in timing. He gives as an example a poor boy from a small town in the foothills of the Cordillera Mountain in Ilocos Norte. The boy would pass by the home of a beautiful girl everyday on the way to school.
He admired the girl but did not have the courage to stop and greet her. Some fifty years later they saw each other again. This time, with some experience in love, courtship, and marriage, he summoned enough courage, greeted her, wooed her, and won her. They are now living happily in Las Vegas.
How about success in politics? Is it destiny or timing?
On May 9, 2022, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez, Marcos, Jr. won the presidency of the Philippines in a landslide with more than 31.5 million votes over his closest rival Maria Leonor Robredo who had about 15 million votes.
“It’s his destiny to be president,” remarked a spectator as we watched the votes being announced on a television monitor at a hotel in Ilocos Norte.
“Bongbong won because he ran at the right time,” I commented.
What Happened In 2015-2016
In 2015, we visited Bongbong’s mother, the former First Lady, Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos. We asked whether Bongbong would run for president. Mrs. Marcos said she wanted him to run to continue the legacy of his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
She revealed that she had talked with Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for him to run as Bongbong’s vice president. Nothing definite came out of the talks.
If I had been Mrs. Marcos’ adviser, I would have told her to bring a duffel bag with 100 million pesos and tell Duterte “We will finance the campaign. Here’s 100 million to start with,” handing the bag to him.
Did Bongbong have the billions necessary to run for president in 2016, let alone 100 million in cash?
According to Wikipedia, Duterte reportedly remarked when asked if he would run for president that it would take 10 to 15 billion pesos to run for president.
I visited a religious leader whose Church has millions of members. They are known for voting solidly during elections. I asked: “Brother puwede po ba natin tulongan si Bongbong sa pagkapresidente? (Can we help Bongbong for president?”)“Hindi naman tayo tinatawagan” (“He does not call us.) he replied.
I rushed to see Bongbong at his Senate office and told him what transpired during my visit to the religious leader. “Here’s the phone number if you want to call him,” I said. “I have it, I will call him,” Bongbong replied.
Next door to Bongbong’s office was Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s office. Chiz’s father, Salvador Escudero, was Minister of Agriculture when Bongbong’s father was president.
I stopped by Chiz’s office. He is a fraternity brother. We belong to the Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity. After greeting him, I said “Brod, I just came from Bongbong’s office.”
“Kumusta siya,” Chiz, asked. “He is fine,” I replied, “I think he is considering running for president. Would you run with him as vice president?”“2016 will be the 30th anniversary of EDSA. Martial law will be a big issue against him,” Chiz remarked.
As predicted by Chiz, in February 2016, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang (CARMMA) was launched by alleged human rights victims of martial law to fight Bongbong.
Chiz eventually ran as vice president teaming up with Grace Poe who ran for president.
If Bongbong had run for president in 2016, he would have faced formidable opponents. It is not likely that he would have won. Besides Duterte who had decided to run for president himself, there was Mar Roxas backed by the Aquinos and the Liberal Party, Jejomar Binay, Miriam Defensor Santiago, and Grace Poe, the darling of the mainstream media.
Duterte won because the Filipinos wanted a strong leader after 30 years of wishy-washy leadership.
Right Timing In 2022
This year the 64-year-old Bongbong ran for president and won easily.
He had very weak opponents. Maria Leonor (Leni) Robredo was running as an independent after eschewing the Liberal Party, the Aquinos and the yellow color. The other candidates were Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, Senator and boxing champion Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, and Senator Panfilo Lacson.
Bongbong is a charismatic leader, with a ready smile. People flock to him. They want to touch him, hug him, have a selfie with him. His father did not evoke this kind of reaction when he was campaigning for the presidency.
We were in Batac, Ilocos Norte on the day of the election – May 9. Bongbong voted in the same polling place where his father had been voting which is across the street from their ancestral home in Batac. Thousands were there. We saw him vote, took his picture, and congratulated him.
Most of the voters were not even born or were too young to remember martial law which was the main issue against Bongbong. These young voters voted overwhelmingly for Bongbong. They did not believe that martial law was that bad or that Marcos, Sr. was that evil as to have ordered the killings attributed to him.
When I visited President Marcos in Makiki Heights in Honolulu, I asked him if he was going to fight the alleged martial law victims who had filed a class action lawsuit against him.
I told him that I had read their complaint and that a class action was improper because there was no “commonality” among their grievances and that the U.S. courts had no jurisdiction because the alleged acts took place outside the United States. He replied with a wave of his hand “Bay bay amon” (“Never mind”).
He said that he never ordered any body to be harmed during martial law. “I do not even know these people,” he exclaimed. “If I wanted to harm any body I will go after those fighting me like Salonga or Tanada. But I have not done so.”
Right minded people who supported Bongbong believed in the Bible that the sins of the father (if any) should not be visited on the son. People sympathized with Bongbong for having been a victim of cheating (derisively called Switikmatic counting machines) when he ran for vice president in 2016.
Bongbong observed what we often preach: “Less talk, less mistake. No talk, no mistake.” He avoided debates and press conferences.
He ran on a platform of “Unity.” People hearkened to the message.
Supporters of Bongbong utilized Facebook, YouTube, Messenger, TikTok and other social media to the fullest. They posted scenes of large crowds at his campaign rallies.
They posted the speech of his father President Marcos during his visit to the White House, his speech to a joint session of Congress, his verbal jousting with National Press Club interrogators, his singing duets with Mrs. Marcos, and other episodes favorable to the Marcos family.
Bongbong backers posted scenes of picturesque Ilocos Norte and what the Marcoses have done to make it even more so.
Bongbong’s admirers posted his spirited singing of “Hey Jude” by the Beatles on YouTube. Whether you are for or against Bongbong you will enjoy listening to it.
The day after the election, Bongbong addressed the world and asked: “Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions.” Bongbong was proclaimed President of the Philippines by Congress on May 25, 2022.
He said: “I ask you all pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when the president does well, the country does well.”
Congratulations again President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr. We pray that you do exceedingly well.
Was Bongbong’s victory a matter of Destiny or Timing? If destiny, did Bongbong control his destiny?
ATTY. EMMANUEL S. TIPON was a Fulbright and Smith-Mundt scholar to Yale Law School where he obtained a Master of Laws degree specializing in Constitutional Law. He has a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York, and the Philippines. He practices federal law, with emphasis on immigration law and appellate federal criminal defense. He was the Dean and a Professor of Law of the College of Law, Northwestern University, Philippines. He has written law books and legal articles for the world’s most prestigious legal publisher and writes columns for newspapers. He wrote the best-seller “Winning by Knowing Your Election Laws.” Listen to The Tipon Report which he co-hosts with his son Attorney Emmanuel “Noel” Tipon. They talk about immigration law, criminal law, court-martial defense, and current events. It is considered the most witty, interesting, and useful radio show in Hawaii. KNDI 1270 AM band every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. Atty. Tipon was born in Laoag City, Philippines. Cell Phone (808) 225-2645. E-Mail: email@example.com. Website: https://www.tiponlaw.com.
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