Nicole Curato*2 “The return of a Marcos to power in the Philippines is a warning to the world” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/18/marcos-power-philippines-dicators-son-presidency-social-media
There are various factors that contribute to the Marcoses’ political comeback. Some argue that this started more than 30 years ago, when the Marcos family was allowed to return to the Philippines from exile. Since then, they have been normalised as part of the Philippines’ political life. Imelda Marcos ran for and lost the presidency twice but won a congressional seat in her home town. The Marcos children, Bongbong and Imee, also won seats in congress and the senate. Lifestyle magazines and talkshows glamourised the family, instead of ostracising them. A magazine called Metro put Bongbong on their anniversary issue’s cover page in 1990 next to the words, “the best and the brightest”. For Imee’s 60th birthday in 2015, she posed for the cover of the Philippine Tatler’s fashion issue wearing a gown in blood red.
This glamourising has gone into overdrive during the last 10 years. Media studies scholars tracked the sharp increase of YouTube channels that portrayed the Marcos legacy as the building of bridges, hospitals, cultural centres and windmills, which made the Philippines the envy of the world, without any mention of the alleged corruption and massive debts that this “edifice complex” incurred.
Stories about the source of the Marcos wealth have also gone viral on TikTok. According to a pro-Marcos theory, Marcos Sr, a lawyer, received payment for his legal work in gold bars – thus explaining away the source of the family’s wealth. Marcos Jr himself is active on social media – so active that he refused to take part in any debate and press conferences during the campaign. He said he preferred to talk directly to the people, often through his vlogs which showed him and his family living their best lives. TikTok influencers portrayed his son Sandro as a heart-throb worthy of a Korean drama. “Family rebranding” is how a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower described the memo from the Marcos family when they reportedly requested their services. (The Marcos family denied that these reports were accurate.)
さて、マルコス陣営は、反対派を「共産主義者」という冷戦期を思わせるフレーズを使ってスティグマ化している。反マルコスの立場に立ってきた児童書の出版社 Adarna House*3は治安当局関係者によって、「小さな子どもを過激化させる」「共産主義者」と認定されてしまっている*4。批判的な書物を扱う独立系の書店はマルコス支持者に襲撃され、「反共産主義的な落書き」が残されている。
Social media will also be a challenging field for dissent, for opposition voices have been constantly harassed on various platforms by an army of trolls. The experience of Marcos Jr’s main opponent, vice-president Leni Robredo, is exemplary. Throughout her campaign, TikTok was flooded with spliced videos that portrayed her as dumb and incoherent. These attacks are consequential, for they send a signal to all critics that they too could go viral for the wrong reasons.
*4:RAPPLER.COM “Adarna’s Martial Law kid’s books on sale, red-tagged by NICA chief” https://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/literature/adarna-martial-law-children-books-on-sale-may-2022/