Snubs, tirades, and unending showoffs.
These have been the recent dramas of the current Marcos Jr. and the preceding administrations. From complete shrug-offs to drug accusations, the once strong ties of the Marcos-Duterte alliance, dubbed “Uniteam,” undeniably come out to be in a collapse.
Yet, while the two presidential clans continue to play in the big chess of politics, there stands an undeniable pawn—Filipinos—who take the brunt of this crossfire, with the real issues affecting them being put in oversight.
Differences were highlighted when President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. granted amnesty to former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) back in November 2023. This was immediately contradicted by Vice President Sara Duterte, who labeled it an “agreement with the devil.”
Such rift continued when narratives of the entrance of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs floated. Marcos announced on November 24 last year that his administration is studying the re-entry of the country to the international body, which was corroborated by Solicitor General Menardo Guevarra stating that he “does not see any reason why [the ICC] should be prevented from coming in.”
Recently, a People’s Initiative to amend and revise the constitution, which the Duterte clan singles out as the initiative of the president’s cousin and House Speaker Martin Romualdez, came into play as yet another divergent point between the two families.
These events have virtually been the mainspring of why Marcos, Duterte, and their allies play fire back and forth.
From drug-use allegations of the former and current presidents to each other, blatant disregard of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos to the vice president, to innuendos by the two parties such as the prayer of Senator Imee Marcos to keep Marcos Jr. “away from devils,” the so-lauded “Uniteam” further proves itself as a superficial electoral branding.
But in truth, the Marcoses and the Dutertes, no matter how loud their tirades to each other, are nowhere near being different.
While they continue to show off to the public with their political theatrics, the truth stands certain that the two parties are both trapos: corrupt and self-serving politicians.
During the run of their drama, continuing concerns involving the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP), the stunted economic growth rate of the country of two steps down to 5.6%, among other relevant issues of the masses, were unheeded and overshadowed.
This unfolding of disunity might not have come off as a surprise, but we should not be deceived by it. What is clear now is that their goals are not to serve the people—but themselves.
The real unity? The unity that comes out of our collective stand against the likes of the Marcoses and Dutertes. Rejecting political noise and standing up against issues that keep us Filipinos from moving forward is what will allow us to truly arise united—more than what this charade of a “uniteam” government has ever delivered and been capable of.
Opinion by Godwin Pring
Layout by Yuan Simbulan