Democracy works! Prior to the elections Prabowo's brinkmanship stirred speculation in the Philippines, where the family of Ferdinand Marcos is plotting its own comeback. Facebook and the Twittersphere were pulsating with chatter about how a Prabowo victory or extended electoral challenge might embolden the former dictator's son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., to run for president in 2016.
“(Returning to) Malacañang would be a great help” ImeldificFrom Agence France-Presse
BATAC, Ilocos Norte—Some dreams just never die.
Imelda Marcos, the dictator’s widow who now represents Ilocos Norte province in Congress, offered a toast on her 85th birthday on Wednesday as she made plans for a triumphal return to Malacañang.
Wearing a flowing red gown and diamond rings, the self-declared “poverty-stricken” Imelda was serenaded by throngs of supporters as she emerged from her private chambers in the family mansion in their northern stronghold of Batac.
“My only wish is for God to give me a little more strength to prolong my life,” she told reporters who asked about her birthday wish.
She said she had seen “the best, best, best and the worst, worst, worst” in life, but insisted she had no plans to ride into the sunset just yet.
In the freewheeling often rambling interview, however, Imelda didn’t discuss her fragile health. She was rushed to the hospital last year for extreme fatigue but later recovered.
“I still have a vision and hope to bring more help to the Filipino people,” she said.
She insisted that Ferdinand Marcos Jr., her senator-son and namesake of her late husband, was “qualified” to contest the presidency in May 2016 when President Aquino, son of the Marcoses’ top political foe, ends his six-year term.
“(Returning to) Malacañang would be a great help” in implementing her projects, she said.
Lessons Filipinos can learn from the Indonesian presidential elections:
- Democracy works! Prior to the elections Prabowo's brinkmanship stirred speculation in the Philippines, where the family of Ferdinand Marcos is plotting its own comeback. Facebook and the Twittersphere were pulsating with chatter about how a Prabowo victory or extended electoral challenge might embolden the former dictator's son, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., to run for president in 2016.
- No need for Traditional Politicans ("TraPos"). New leaders can emerge! Mr. Joko, a thin, unassuming figure with what he has described as a typical “village face,” will be Indonesia’s seventh president and the first not to have emerged from the country’s political elite or to have been an army general.
- Like Indonesia, The Philippines needs two consecutive Good Presidents. Mr. Joko will lead a country that has successfully consolidated its democracy and enjoyed strong economic growth under the departing president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has served two five-year terms.
Former general stumbles on human rights while the Jakarta governor shines.
Mr. Joko, a thin, unassuming figure with what he has described as a typical “village face,” will be Indonesia’s seventh president and the first not to have emerged from the country’s political elite or to have been an army general.
Mr. Prabowo, 62, was a son-in-law of Suharto, the authoritarian president who was forced to resign in 1998 after 32 years in power amid pro-democracy street demonstrations. Mr. Prabowo, a successful businessman who comes from a prominent Javanese political family, has a checkered military record, including allegations of human rights abuses as a commander of Indonesia’s Special Forces and later as head of the army’s strategic reserve command. He was denied a visa to enter the United States in 2000 and is believed to be on an unofficial blacklist.
Pocketed up to $35 billion from Indonesia.
His New Order regime started out well enough. In point of fact, during most of his 31-year presidency, Indonesia enjoyed not only strongly boosted health, living and education standards, but also a huge influx of economic growth and industrialization.
But amidst the work Suharto did to promote big business and an improved economy, a series of Chinese-run companies took root within the Indonesian infrastructure. As of the 1990s, they grew to massive proportions. They still have a major impact upon the country’s economic viability to this day. That might not be so bad, but the Suharto family earned most of its wealth through shady dealings on the side and preferential appointments to people who would protect his family’s personal and financial interests.
Then Suharto pulled a Dictatorship 101 stunt. After resigning following the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, he grew so ill that authorities deemed him unfit to be tried for the charges of corruption and mismanagement of funds. Despite the fact that the Indonesian people did in fact, not enjoy a marvelous way of life (most lived at or below the poverty level of $1 a day), there was no pressure by the citizens to prosecute him. He died without being tried. From Business Pundit
Stole up to $10 billion from the Philippines.
Most people love getting freebies. In the case of this list, you get two corrupt Filipino dictators for the price of one. Arguably, Marcos was worse than the fellow who came later, Joseph Estrada, for a couple of reasons. He had his own cult of personality, and he used it to strong-arm the country into doing whatever he wanted.
As ruler of the Philippines for 14 years, he went with a patronage style of running the show. His cronies came on board, he awarded them big bonuses and posts of authority, which would, in time, further augment his family’s own wealth. He created monopolies in tobacco, banana, coconut, sugar and manufacturing industries, to which he tied the fellow Romauldez family.
Just how rich were the Marcoses? No one really knows how many billions of dollars that the First Family and their stooges raked in, but it certainly hangs in the billions. Swiss banks have turned in $85 million since Marcos stepped down in 1986, but more is still unaccounted for.
And who could forget Imelda Marcos? Wealth breeds extravagance, but she went over the top. She had white sand from an Australian beach flown in for a resort. She also bought various properties around Manhattan, though she ‘declined to buy the Empire State Building for $750 mil’ because it seemed “too ostentatious.”
When criticized for her manner of buying everything in sight, she claimed that she was a beacon of light to which the poor could aspire. As though the poor have as little integrity as she did, and would aspire to hedonism. from BusinessPundit
Head of Government: Mohamed Suharto
Country/Term of Office: President of Indonesia, 1967-98
Allegedly Embezzled: $15 billion to $35 billion
GDP Per Capita: $695
Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2004
Head of Government: Ferdinand Marcos
Country/Term of Office: President of Philippines, 1972-86 Allegedly Embezzled: $5 billion to $10 billion
GDP Per Capita: $912
Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Report 2004
World's Ten Most Corrupt Leaders1
"Their corruption has contributed to their countries' low economic status, placing them among the poorest on the planet"(Forbes magazine)
|1. Mohamed Suharto||President of Indonesia (1967–1998)||$15–35 billion|
|2. Ferdinand Marcos||President of the Philippines (1972–1986)||5–10 billion|
|3. Mobutu Sese Seko||President of Zaire (1965–1997)||5 billion|
|4. Sani Abacha||President of Nigeria (1993–1998)||2–5 billion|
|5. Slobodan Milosevic||President of Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989–2000)||1 billion|
|6. Jean-Claude Duvalier||President of Haiti (1971–1986)||300–800 million|
|7. Alberto Fujimori||President of Peru (1990–2000)||600 million|
|8. Pavlo Lazarenko||Prime Minister of Ukraine (1996–1997)||114–200 million|
|9. Arnoldo Alemán||President of Nicaragua (1997–2002)||100 million|
|10. Joseph Estrada||President of the Philippines (1998–2001)||78–80 million|
1. Defined as former political leaders who have been accused of embezzling the most funds from their countries over the past two decades.
2. All sums are estimates of alleged embezzlement and appear in U.S. dollars.