Tell it to SunStar: When the unrepentant son lies — yet again

By Project Gunita
Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

(In light of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s recent interview with Sarah Ferguson over ABC News Australia on March 4, 2024, Project Gunita — along with 83 other organizational and individual co-signatories — is releasing this joint public statement to refute the new lies and distortion that the dictator’s son had uttered about the Marcos Sr. dictatorship.)

In an interview with ABC News Australia on March 4, 2024, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was asked several questions about his family’s contentious historical record and the dictatorship of his father. Mr. Marcos can’t help but wiggle his way out through lying and distortion. Here are some of them.

Mr. Marcos: “Well, it was a different sort of authoritarian rule… I think the version that my father tried to promote and actually practiced was very much still with the participation of all stakeholders that were involved.”

FALSE. Let us count the ways:

The ratification of the 1973 Constitution was bogus. It was held through fake “citizens assemblies” where people were simply asked if they wanted rice. Constitutional Convention (ConCon) delegates who proposed a ban on any “Marcos third term” provision were jailed, and those who were not detained were threatened to play ball — or else.

The Supreme Court (SC) was shackled. When Enrique Fernando, known to be a craven holder of the First Lady’s umbrella, served as SC chief justice, he often affirmed — in court decisions — the legal scaffolding of the dictatorship.

Congress was shut down in 1972.

In 1978, people who protested the brazen fraud in the Interim Batasang Pambansa elections were put behind bars. Those who boycotted the fraudulent 1981 presidential elections were also picked up or murdered.

In 1976, the dictator Marcos inserted Amendment 6 which granted the Chief Executive legislative powers, including the right to repeal Batasang Pambansa laws which the dictator deemed insufficient or wrong. The Chief Executive is also a legislator — and Batasan served as a mere rubber-stamp to the dictator’s decrees.


Mr. Marcos: “It was just the peace and order situation that really dictated the necessity for the declaration of martial law.”

FALSE. Since 1970, Marcos Sr. had been flirting with the idea of declaring martial law, even under false pretexts, to perpetuate himself in power. Lest we forget, the very “ambush” on Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile on Sept. 22, 1972 was fake. Mr. Enrile himself admitted this during the 1986 Edsa uprising.

Had Edsa People Power 1 not happened, Marcos Sr. and his henchman Gen. Fabian Ver would have implemented a secret plan code-named Operation Everlasting. According to the plan, after Marcos inaugurates his “fourth term” in power on Feb. 25, 1986, he would reimpose martial law and the military would round up thousands of opposition members, journalists, and activists, and throw them off on Caballo Island. Was this the “peace and order” problem that his son describes?


Mr. Marcos: “There is… It was [a] war. With war, death and destruction [are] inevitable. But this is a war not declared by the government of the Philippines. These wars were declared on the government of the Philippines.”

FALSE. The dictator used a fictitious tale of “left-and-right” conspiracy — a “combination” of a communist revolution and an elite-led siege — to justify the imposition of martial law. But history was clear in its judgment: Martial law was a war by the Marcos dictatorship against the Filipino people.

Engineering student Archimedes Trajano was killed by the bodyguards of Mr. Marcos’ elder sister, Imee, because he asked a question about her continued stay as Kabataang Barangay’s chairperson. Arsenio “Archie” Toribio was murdered by a sniper in Makati City after he attended a post-election rally of the opposition slate, led by Corazon C. Aquino. Luis “Boyet” Mijares was tortured to death as the dictatorship’s revenge on his father, Primitivo, because he defected and exposed in the US Congress and in a book — The Conjugal Dictatorship — the lies and inner machinations of Marcos Sr.’s autocratic rule. They’re among the thousands killed under the Marcos dictatorship. President Marcos must now answer: Were these victims guilty of “waging a war” against the government?


Mr. Marcos: “Cases were filed against me, my family, the estate, etc. And up to now, the assertions that were made… have shown to be untrue.”

FALSE. In 1995, 9,539 human rights victims of the Marcos dictatorship won a class suit in the US District Court jury in Hawaii against the estate of the late dictator.

In 1999, the Philippine SC ordered the Marcos estate to pay P23 billion in tax liabilities.

In 2003, the Philippine SC ruled in Republic v Sandiganbayan that $680 million in recovered Marcos loot in Swiss bank accounts were ill-gotten.

In 2012, the Philippine SC ruled in Marcos Jr. v Republic that $40 million in so-called ‘Arelma accounts’ of the Marcos family were ill-gotten. President Marcos Jr. was a direct beneficiary to these accounts.

In 2018, the Philippine anti-graft court Sandiganbayan had convicted former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos for seven counts of graft involving $200 million in Swiss bank deposits.

From 1986 to 2021, the Presidential Commission on Good Government was able to recover P174 billion in Marcos stolen wealth — from paintings, jewelry, to bank deposits.


Mr. Marcos: “Everything was taken from us… we were taken to Hawaii… everything, everything was taken from us. We had nothing left.”

FALSE. Upon their arrival in Honolulu in 1986, the US Customs asked the Marcoses to list the “household effects” they brought from the Philippines. The list amounted to almost $1 billion in assets, including $717 million crates of cash, $200,000 in gold bullion, and $124 million in bank deposit slips. Also, the government is still working to recover P125 billion from the stolen Marcos loot.


Mr. Marcos: “I think that, having seen the facts… as they have been slowly revealed, with… further true investigation, not propaganda, but actual true investigation, like court cases and investigations by all kinds of NGOs, different agencies… that has changed. People can see that it was propaganda.”

FALSE. Several courts in the United States, Switzerland, and Singapore, as well as our own SC, ruled that the Marcoses plundered billions from the nation’s coffers. The State’s recovery of billions from the Marcos loot in the last 38 years is a convincing proof of the plunder. Mrs. Marcos remains a graft convict.


President Marcos Jr. has yet again tried to lie his way out of questions concerning his family’s brutal dictatorship and its legacy. He even laughed at the question about his family’s plunder of Philippine wealth, in effect insulting the impoverished Filipino people.

We ask the same question on President Marcos Jr: What was so funny about it?

The world knows — and remembers — what truly happened. Many Flipinos still remember the dark memories of the 20-year Marcos dictatorship. The struggle against historical distortion may be an uphill battle when the dictator’s son sits in Malacañang, but the truth will still outshine the lies of the second Marcos regime.


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