By Anne Caileen Usero

PHOTO: Blogspot

In a recent presidential interview conducted by Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) on Saturday, March 26, one of the questions posed asked presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. if he was a Machiavellian.

Marcos, on the other hand,  inexplicitly responded: “Am I a Machiavellian? Well, I’ve studied him quite thoroughly, and I know very many Machiavellians in my life.”

Professor Clarita Carlos, one of the panelists in the said interview, interrupted midway to further clarify that the word used is intended to have a positive context saying: “Machiavellian in terms of taking every means to produce an end, not the other Machiavellian.”

Marcos then continued: “Certainly, we have to be aware of everything that is going to help whatever it is that you are hoping to achieve. And on the national scale, that means you have to understand very well what the situation is on the ground.”

“I suppose in the same sense… it’s a way of being careful, and being very, very knowledgeable about what are the things that have to come into play, so that you will achieve success — whatever that success, however you define that success," Marcos Jr. added. Concluding his answer with a statement: “So in that sense, ma'am. Yes, I am a Machiavellian,” he ended.

But what does “Machiavellian” really stand for?

The term “Machiavellian” originated from Niccoló Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” describing the main character, who’s named after the author himself, Machiavelli, as someone who denotes subtle or unscrupulous cunning, deception, expediency, or dishonesty, especially in politics — one who will resort to whatever means necessary (referencing techniques of political manipulation) to achieve power.

Machiavellian, as a word, connotes strategizing schemes that a leader must do in order to secure authority and prestige for personal interest. Contrasting what Marcos stated, a Machiavellian does not equate to simply being driven by the goal of achieving success on behalf of providing well for your people. Machiavellian represents negative attributes a leader may possess.

Edited by: Kyla Balatbat