The Philippines has the oldest democracy in Asia. But the country’s democracy was shattered when then-President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972. Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines until a People Power Revolution deposed him in February 1986.
After Marcos was overthrown, the Filipinos rewrote the Constitution and limited the term of the President to just six years. Since then, the democracy in the country has been fragile. The Philippines held two Presidential elections, both marred by accusations of vote-rigging. A term of an elected President was cut short by a popular uprising led by his Vice President, who assumed the Presidency and later won a seat of her own in an election marked by a vote-rigging scandal.
A son of the country’s democracy icon was elected President but pondered a martial declaration towards the end of his term. The Filipinos elected a masochistic President who ordered a bloody war on drugs but who, in the end, presided over a clean and honest election that resulted in the election of the son of the President, who shattered the democracy in the Philippines. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was elected President by an overwhelming majority of the Filipinos in a clean and honest election presided by President Duterte.
The fragility of the democracy in the country has been an overhang on the foreign investor’s appetite in the country. The fragility of the democracy in the country has been a critical risk to foreign investors.
It is now high time for the President-elect, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, to show the world that the Philippines is now back to a stable democracy. He has to erase the doubt about our democracy by starting with an end in mind. He has to begin his term with an announcement that, just like his predecessor, President Rodrigo Duterte, he will preside over a swift, clean, and honest election that will elect the next President at the end of his term.
With just that announcement, the PSEI can quickly surge past 7,500.
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