Tell it to SunStar: No laughing matter

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law

The dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., had a laugh when asked why he wouldn’t want all the money back in the hands of the Filipino people. Seriously waiting for an answer from Marcos Jr. on their family’s ill-gotten wealth during martial rule, ABC Australia journalist Sara Ferguson quickly asked what was funny. For the rest of the world who watched the interview, we simply cannot let this pass as simply Pinoy humor.

Marcos Jr.’s laughter outweighed his seemingly brave statements of defending Philippine sovereignty on the issue on China’s aggression in the West Philippine Sea. He was obviously startled when he was asked what was funny, to which he answered that he was thinking that the “narrative” maintains—that they stole millions from the nation’s coffers during their reign, and that their family continues to keep the ill-gotten wealth which should have been returned a long time ago.

Belittling the issue of the Marcos plunder and corruption of billions as propaganda, Marcos Jr. should be made to answer: Is the P125 billion of which the Philippine Commission on Good Government declared as part of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, as well as the P203 billion worth of estate tax delinquencies which no less than the Supreme Court ordered his family to pay, a product of the people’s imagination? All these billions are documented, and are a result of investigations conducted after the downfall of the Marcoses—and these comprise only part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

These do not yet include the valuables which the Marcoses physically brought with them when they flew in exile to Hawaii, a show of extravagance and luxury of the Marcoses—from gold bricks to jewelry, to Imelda’s shoes and tiara collection, to newly printed peso bills inside crates and diaper boxes.

Marcos Jr. attempted to shrug off these facts with that shameless chuckle. It was already hard listening to Marcos Jr.’s mumbling and garbled speaking in the absence of a teleprompter and a prepared speech, but it was way harder to listen and swallow once more at how he mocked the Filipino people in this interview, especially on his answers pertaining to their family’s dark legacy of dictatorship.

Despite saying that he has no impulses of making the Philippines an authoritarian system, he defended his father’s dictatorship. By saying death and destruction was inevitable with war, he justified the toll of thousands of victims killed, abducted and disappeared. By saying it was not a war declared by the government, he again washed his father’s hands of declaring martial law that gave the marching orders to state security forces to crack down on thousands of Filipinos critical of the Marcos dictatorship and silence thousands more, stripping them off of what was left of their rights.

The statement that death and destruction is inevitable to war is way more alarming at present. Marcos Jr. let out another lie (or lies) in saying that the drug war under his government is bloodless, that his government is not interested in small-time drug users, and that many policemen have been removed from service, cases have been filed, and that many are in jail.

The Dahas project of the University of the Philippines has documented 565 victims of drug-related killings since Marcos Jr. became president. There have only been three prosecutions of perpetrators related to killings in the drug war. Recently, only one policeman was convicted for the killing of minor Jemboy Baltazar, and on a lighter offense.

Aside from the drug war, the silencing of protest and dissent continues. The Marcos Jr. administration maintained the NTF-ELCAC (National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict), the bloody counter-insurgency war, all the forms of atrocities and forms of attacks carried out by the military since the martial law of Marcos, up to the present. As Satur Ocampo once described it, the previous Duterte administration and now, the Marcos Jr. administration, are a hybrid of of the Marcos Sr. dictatorship, and all other regimes after martial law. Now under Marcos Jr., this hybrid repression has become more deceptive and dangerous, clearly with no room for accountability or justice.

This likewise reflects much on his answer in disallowing the International Criminal Court to investigate on the Philippines, misplacing the sovereign question BY using it to absolve Duterte, and to their interests in pursuing Charter change, to their tyrannical desires to stay in power beyond 2025, 2028, and so on.

To sum it all, Marcos Jr. was right. Not one from the Marcos family, whether living or dying or dead (pun intended) will hold up to their crimes, and be accountable for plunder and corruption, for human rights violations, for sell-out of national sovereignty.

He can laugh about it now, being at the helm, but, as history has judged the Marcos family, we believe that the Filipino people’s clamor for truth, justice and genuine change from the horrors of the past and of the dire situation at present will prevail.


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.