Imee and irony
IMEE Marcos, the daughter of Ferdinand Marcos and who is running for senator in the coming elections in May, is currently on the defensive in social media for her academic record claims. What has become ironic is that she and the Marcos family, including the namesake of her father Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., have the better social media presence among the current crop of politicians.
Social media is where the Marcoses have been waging a battle to revise history, specifically the narrative of the dictatorship years. Many of those whose presence in social media got big like Mocha Uson, Sass Sassot, RJ Nieto of Thinking Pinoy, etc. at one time or another beefed up the Marcoses’social media machinery.
The Rodrigo Duterte presidential campaign in 2016 benefited immensely from the Marcoses’ social media machinery. Would Duterte have won the presidency without the Marcoses linking up with him in 2016? That’s a good question to ask, considering how puny the Duterte campaign organization was at the beginning.
The President may have actually acknowledged that help with his proBongbong Marcos statements during the campaign and after he (Duterte) won. It was when Duterte became president that the body of the former strongman, kept in a crypt for so long in Ilocos, was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Imee’s senatorial bid has also gotten the support of presidential daughter Sara Duterte and her Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
What Imee and the Marcoses may have failed to reckon, however, is that social media is such a large platform it can’t be controlled by any one entity, no matter how much money one invests in enlarging one’s presence there. The social media that initially served the Marcoses well in the early years of their revisionist campaign is now also making the Imee campaign bleed.
Bongbong was the first among the Marcoses to benefit from social media when he almost won the vice presidency in 2016. His social media machinery waged a sometimes brutal campaign against Leni Robredo and her group, whom they collectively referred to as “dilawan.” Robredo still won the election but her running mate Mar Roxas fell.
Robredo’s win showed that the combination of revisionism, fake news and slander is still not enough to put a good (wo)man down. Those can also be defeated by truth and objectivity
which soon prevailed as Filipino voters eventually matured in the use of social media. Now Imee must have felt like 2016 was eons ago, with her social media machinery marginalized.
Imee launched her senatorial campaign well, then things turned sour as soon as social media got wind of her false claims. She first claimed, in her biography posted on Facebook, to be “one of the first female graduates from an Ivy League school— Princeton University, graduating with honors.” Further digging showed Imee did not finish her degree in that university.
Social media feasted on it, and on her other academic achievements claim. When Sara Duterte attempted to defend her, even she ended up being subject of ridicule. How times have changed.