Toni Gonzaga may have got the eye of the tiger while campaigning for presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., but netizens are not buying her latest viral statement. The former “Pinoy Big Brother” host is facing backlash after referring to Malacañang Palace as Marcos’s home during the Cebu City UniTeam rally held on April 18.
“Konting-konting panahon nalang, babalik na si BBM sa kanyang tahanan—ang Malacañang,” Gonzaga claimed after singing her signature rendition of “Roar.”
Netizens took to social media to remind Gonzaga that Malacañang Palace shouldn’t be seen as a politician’s or a political dynasty’s property. As the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the Philippines, Malacañang belongs to the Filipino people.
Some compared the entitled take with former President Ramon Magsaysay’s humble view of the presidential abode. Magsaysay considered himself a mere “tenant” of Malacañang and turned it into a true “house of the people.”
Others note that Gonzaga’s claim contributes to historical revisionism. It’s chilling that Marcosian myth-making continues to spread the false narrative that the presidency is a Marcos birthright. To be clear, the nation doesn’t owe anyone a seat of power. Becoming president is a promise of service, not a luxury.
But here’s what Gonzaga got right: The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family did live in Malacañang in the past. However, the Marcoses fled and sought exile in the US after the People Power Revolution to avoid answering for their extensive list of crimes. If the Filipino people kicked them out of the place, it’s hardly fitting to call it their rightful home.
Here’s a 2016 statement from the professors of the University of the Philippines Diliman Department of History that can still be a timely read for Gonzaga today: “Great danger now lurks behind a deceptive nostalgia for a past that never really existed—that the Marcos years were a period of peace and prosperity. This is patently Marcos myth and deception. Under martial law, the country was plunged into a climate of repression and plunder and then into social crisis that exploded in the 1980s.” There is no glorious past to bring back.
Photo courtesy of Official Gazette
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