POETRY: His father’s son

The father (may God rest his soul), he was the author
of a book I daresay few would remember.
“Today’s Revolution: Democracy” was its title,
supposedly the master plan and blueprint
for the ambitious (or dubious?) New Society experiment
that promised to bring to an end the oligarchy’s reign
and make our nation, as he said, great again.

The father (may God rest his soul) has earned his place in history,
immortalized in a way on a pedestal of infamy
(to this, I know the loyalists would disagree).
The old oligarchy (some of it anyway) he did sweep away
along with the trappings of a fragile (bogus, some would say) democracy,
putting in its place a crony oligarchy just as (if not much more) greedy
and dictatorial rule, ruthless repression, unbridled tyranny.

When from the Palace the father and his family were driven finally,
for us here down south what he left was the dark legacy
of bloody warfare, deep distrust, and widespread animosity.

And now the son, ever in denial of history and remorseless,
somehow is becoming more his father’s spitting image,
arrogantly displays his supposedly superior intellectual prowess.
A landmark, historic legislation borne out of a long process
and arduously crafted and deliberated by stakeholders and adversaries
in an effort to overcome animosities, build trust, and attain peace,
he single-handedly and deftly overhauls, rewrites and revises.

And now the son, reminiscent of the father’s manipulating
and strong-arming a Constitutional Convention to do his bidding
and write a Constitution according to his design and liking,
subjects the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law to his own editing –
actually, rewriting, mutilating, subverting, and emasculating –
high-handedly and condescendingly discarding and disregarding
all prior effort and deliberation by many minds that went into its making.

Should he (oh, God forbid!) in his incomprehensible intention succeed,
we may once more be at the brink of reliving the legacy his father bequeathed –
the dark legacy of bloody warfare, deep distrust, and animosity widespread.

He then would have proven that he is his father’s son indeed!

Eric S.B. Libre
17 August 2015