Jullie Y. Daza

As the French would say it, enchanté!

On the day Time magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential, the President   took pity – “nakakaawa” – on the riders of e-bikes and e-trikes who were being fined and arrested for using national roads. “The P2,500 fine is a bit much,” he winced.

Certainly, he was using his influence over the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to go easy, but will MMDA take the hint?  

It’s the same PBBM who was happy that the interception of the biggest drug haul, P13.3 billion, in the history of PDEA and PNP did not end in bloodshed. Yes, sir, you can hear the police and PDEA say it, it can be done, without a shot fired, without violence, just some good old intelligence gathering. Then an on-the-spot promotion for the cop in charge.  

That’s President Marcos for you, whom some might call charming, kindhearted, with a forgiving nature. But whom Big Sister Senator Imee would want to see losing his temper, just once!

That’s PBBM, the very same who advised hotheaded motorists to “say thank you with a wave of the hand” to the other guy for giving way instead of engaging him in a show of road rage. When did you hear a president teaching you to say thank you? Not only does he look and sound like a courteous public servant, he has opened the Palace grounds to the people whom he considers the real owners of Malacañang, at the same time that his First Lady has renovated several mansions in the compound for use by groups and organizations; in that way making use of an asset that, like most manmade structures, demand to be lived in, inhabited by warm bodies.

Now, to all appearances the Palace is being inhabited by a family – father and mother, three sons – with PBBM in the Office of the President. Growing up in Malacañang during the first Marcos presidency, the young Bong Bong was already showing signs of being a charmer, a precious only son sandwiched between two sisters.

Long before he became president, I asked BBM if his mother, the one and only IRM, was already grooming him for the position. He replied, “Which mother doesn’t have such a dream?”