EDSA fatigue: Why Bongbong Marcos is suddenly popular

Rose Carmelle Lacuata ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Political analysts believe that vice presidential bet Senator Bongbong Marcos' popularity in pre-election surveys is an effect of what they call ''EDSA fatigue.''

Speaking on ANC's "Beyond Politics," Dean Julio Teehankee of De La Salle University and Professor Edmund Tayao of the University of Santo Tomas weighed in on the results of a recent pre-election survey conducted by Pulse Asia.

The latest ABS-CBN survey conducted by Pulse Asia showed Senator Grace Poe reclaiming the solo lead among presidential candidates.

The vice-presidential race remained a close fight, especially between Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sen. Francis Escudero, who were tied at first place with 25 percent apiece.

But Marcos established a commanding lead in vote-rich Metro Manila with 41 percent. Escudero was a distant second with 23 percent.

It was also shown in the results that Marcos was popular among those in the classes A, B, and C, which for Teehankee might be an effect of "fatigue with the EDSA narrative."

"After 30 years, we haven't reached the promised land. It's not the fault of any particular political actor, but it's really a collective failure to consolidate the gains of democracy. As a people, as an electorate, how we deal with this question of democratic consolidation is very important, because now we are seeing some form of backsliding, and some people are enamored with the return of some form of authoritarianism," he explained.

Tayao agreed with Teehankee's view, adding that the Aquino administration failed to implement the reforms that were expected of his administration.

"Negative politics. For example Senator Cayetano, they started hitting VP Binay. While it affected VP Binay's numbers, it really didn't get them anywhere. Here we go back to PNoy who's back to his old self, attacking practically anyone and passing the blame to practically anyone other than whoever's working with him."

"Whoever had the real chance of exacting or starting real reforms, we could have had it at this administration. Unprecedented political capital, you could have pushed for so many divisive reforms," Tayao added.


For Teehankee, Marcos' popularity is also caused by a "Marcos renaissance" or a nostalgia for the era of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

"We're seeing a Marcos renaissance. There's this nostalgia among some people about the Marcos era. What is interesting is while we are seeing a Marcos nostalgia, or renaissance or whatever, we are also seeing, because Leni Robredo is the only one positioning herself as the anti-Marcos candidate among the vice presidential candidates," he said.

"So you have Bongbong Marcos, the son of Marcos, and Chiz Escudero and even Alan Peter Cayetano, whose fathers were part of the Marcos regime. You can see that they are clustered as part of the Marcos narrative and yet Leni Robredo is the only one positioning herself with the anti-Marcos narrative," Teehankee added.

He added that what the younger Marcos is alluding to is the Marcos of 1965, when he first won as president, and not the Marcos of the Martial Law era.

"What Bongbong Marcos is doing, in terms of political marketing, he's emulating the democratic Marcos of 1965. The more charismatic, modernist president, rather than the Marcos of 1986, the fallen dictator. I think that is resonating in (class) ABC voters," Teehankee explained.

This, however, can be a double-edged sword, as being associated with Ferdinand Marcos has both advantages and disadvantages.

"This can go either way, it's a double-edged sword. To me, if I'm one of the strategists of Senator Bongbong, I wouldn't play up so much the legacy of his father," Tayao explained.