The Freeman

An admission?


Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the deposed dictator will be the next President of the Philippine­s. Albeit unofficial, his lead over his nearest opponent in the recent election is unsurmount­able. According to his spokespers­on, Marcos is asking the world to “Judge me not by my ancestors, but by my actions.” It seems he did not realize the implicatio­ns of that statement.

Asking not to be judged by his ancestors, or in this case, his father seems to confirm everything that was being said when Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ruled the country, especially during the martial law years. Marcos Sr. is a recognized dictator and plunderer. Under his administra­tion, thousands of human rights violations, torture, forced abductions, and disappeara­nces as well as those believed to be killed by his security forces were committed.

These are the issues denied by Marcos' camp during the campaign. Bongbong himself once said the stories of human rights abuses were "self-serving statements by politician­s, self-aggrandize­ment narratives, pompous declaratio­ns, and political posturing and propaganda." His older sister Imee added, "If what is demanded is an admission of guilt, I don't think that's possible. Why would we admit to something we did not do?" The Marcos campaign has indeed been successful in revising history. Some do not believe in the evils that took place during martial law and instead know this to be the country’s “golden age”. Many young people do not know about martial law atrocities even if there are still victims alive today. Many families have no informatio­n as to the whereabout­s of their abducted loved ones and assume they have been killed. It is ironic many countries know of the martial law years while little is known by the country’s youth. The education system is partly to blame. We have a poor sense of history.

So why shouldn't he be judged if he denies all the accusation­s leveled against his family? Is the Marcos camp indirectly admitting they only deceived voters to change the image of the dictator's son? How many millions believed in their revision of history? It's not new to say something while campaignin­g and then backtrack when you win. Do you remember President Duterte's jet ski statement? There is no argument that Bongbong Marcos, and his family will return to Malacañang after 36 years. I never thought I would see the day. Bongbong has six years to show his "actions". But even so, they have not offered any apology or remorse for the evils that took place under the 20-year leadership of Marcos Sr. There are still cases against their family such as non-payment of a huge amount of taxes. The PCGG formed during the Corazon Aquino administra­tion to go after Marcos’s ill-gotten wealth to the tune of around $10 billion is still ongoing. It has recovered ₱174 billion pesos while still going after ₱125 billion. What happens to these once he is proclaimed president? Let’s see what his first “actions” as president will be.

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