Bongbong: Poverty is not a poor man's battle

Posted at 04/06/2012 2:29 PM | Updated as of 09/21/2012 7:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes the Philippines still has a long way to go before becoming an industrialized country.

In an interview in the No-Benta blog, Marcos said the Philippines needs “10 good, solid years of continuous high growth to take us to the threshold of newly industrialized country status.”

Marcos noted that while he welcomes material comfort and security, it must be widespread and more equally distributed. He encouraged those successful in their chosen fields to spearhead efforts in poverty alleviation.

“Poverty is not a poor man's battle; it's for the stronger to take the cudgels because what good is ‘getting ahead’ and becoming prosperous if all around you is poverty,” he said.

He added: “Nation building is not only about government; it’s the entire nation that should be involved to make it happen.”

I didn’t see Erap’s downfall

In the interview, Marcos said he also did not foresee President Joseph Estrada’s removal from office after his landslide victory in the 1998 presidential election.

The senator said what happened to Estrada was “unbelievable” after his impeachment trial in the Senate stalled with the walkout of members of the House prosecution panel.

Estrada was ousted from office after the January 2001 “EDSA Dos” revolt, which echoed the 1986 People Power revolt that removed Marcos’ father, Ferdinand Marcos, from Malacañang.

Sen. Marcos said Estrada’s removal from office via revolt was unconstitutional “and we have seen the consequences of that up to now.”

“I agree that all government officials must be made accountable and nobody should be immune from removal from office but we must not invoke it too casually specially for political motives or we denigrate what the Constitution meant to be as a system of checks and balances,” he said.

“We need less politics, less of the traditional politics, in our society. God knows we have too much of it,” he added.

Why Marcos banned Voltes V

Marcos also defended his father’s decision to ban the popular anime Voltes V during the martial law years. The late president said he banned Voltes V and all other-robot based anime because of excessive violence. The ban came in 1979 before the last 5 episodes of the cartoon could be shown.

In the interview, Senator Marcos said he understood that a cartoon like Voltes V would have been something important to kids “but it was actually the parents that worried about the violence that they were afraid might influence their children in a negative way.”

“There was a lot of private lobbying by all kinds of groups, parents-groups, and so I guess my father saw it prudent to acquiesce to their demands on an issue that was and still is not well understood,” he said.

Marcos said that up to this day, the effect of violence “as experienced vicariously by children through TV or video games is still a subject that remains contentious not only here but in other countries as well.”