On June 4, the administration began its machinations when President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Junior issued the  Memorandum Circular No. 52, mandating SUCs, GOCCs and other government institutions to recite the Bagong Pilipinas Pledge and Hymn during flag raising and retreat ceremonies while solely urging the LGUs to do the same. 

Bongbong Marcos, succeeded the mark of the dictatorial legacy of his father—slowly revealing itself, with Marcos Jr. directing government institutions to vow upon the Bagong Pilipinas on weekly flag ceremonies. Blatantly, it is simply an act to promote the brand of Marcos administration, solicit our unconditional cooperation, and sweep the dirt upon the face of their family name.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez explained in an interview last January, that the Bagong Pilipinas front is a call for Filipinos to unite, which is akin to the core Filipino value of “bayanihan.” It means that it encourages Filipinos to stand under one banner, the Bagong Pilipinas. If us Filipinos share the same body of thought under one mind without resistance as the administration’s slogan suggests, then in a way, it may actually undermine the number of individuals who will scrutinize the government which is an integral part of keeping in check the person in power. Failure to do so may result in another case of silencing political oppositions and the media such as the scenes during the Marcos Sr. administration. 

Talk about the Bagong Lipunan of the late dictator, with promises to end poverty and create equality, end hunger and drive development, end corruption and enact justice, lastly, the most ironic—end deception and promote truth. Filipinos were also directed to hail and pledge on this propaganda of Marcos Sr., and it is gradually emerging how the son’s objective and actions seem to align with that of the father’s. 

Furthermore, if we look at it, the implementation of the memorandum circular is coercive, with RA No. 8491 or the “Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines” providing grounds for legal charges upon refusal to observe the law. We are literally being forced to swallow the propaganda of Marcos Jr. while being held at gunpoint.

On the other hand, supporting governmental plans for change and pushing the nation to the track of promised development is not necessarily a detrimental cause. Nevertheless, the administration could have simply concentrated their resources and efforts in crafting solutions to the present issues of our country such as low wages, corruption, and learning poverty.

Reciting a pledge and hymn for the Bagong Pilipinas has no significant part to play in national transformation. Instead, we need solid and true actions to alleviate the pressure levied by socioeconomic adversities, it could be in the form of legislations, government programs or projects, and other activities that would invigorate our economy. This only goes to show that the Marcos Jr. administration is putting more exaggeration on their commitment in spraying fragrance to the brand of his government, weaponizing unity as a cultural relic to inspire us Filipinos to join hands with the Marcos government and abandon our contradicting sentiments. 

Therefore, the Marcoses are bastardizing Filipino culture, law, and values into a mere political tool. Brandishing the banner of Bagong Pilipinas as a call for bayanihan to lift our nation to new heights is nothing but a prop to conceal the scars on our country left by the Marcos dictatorship and a threat to our democracy. 

We must shed the light on the Marcos Jr. regime, unmask the charlatan, stop believing his political prop.