NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 22 Feb) – Unity Team’s standard bearer, Marcos Jr., urges the Filipino to leave the scarred past behind and be united so that the country can move on. Such a clarion call would have received reverberating approval if it were uttered by an honorable statesman.

But coming from an inveterate liar, a thief and a fake, it’s a vapid and empty sloganeering that amounts to a fart.

The namesake of the corrupt dictator ought to know that unity can only be had if there is reconciliation. And reconciliation may only be attained if one is forgiven for the wrongs he has done. Meaningful forgiveness, on the other hand, is only possible to someone who acknowledges his wrongdoings, shows remorse and does justice to the one he has wronged.

For instance, if you stole my bike that I use to go to work and you haughtily continue to move on it around, claiming it’s your newly bought bike when in truth you had just mine repainted, I don’t know if we could ever be reconciled because I would never forgive you, unless and until you restore to me my possession in good order plus the cost of lost opportunity.

Without restitution, there is no justice.

Indeed, without justice, trust is impossible to establish; and reconciliation is a dream pipe. Unity or to be together again in one good company is impossible. We can never move on.

The Marcoses had never acknowledged the wrongs they had done to the Filipino people. Under the repressive and vicious Martial Law rule of Marcos Senior, many were tortured, had lost the lives or had simply disappeared without trace. The wealth of the nation was plundered and stashed in banks outside the country and invested on properties abroad to escape recovery. Huge loans were made from international financial facilities, of which only a fraction was actually used in the building of worthwhile eye-catching infrastructures, such as the heart center, kidney center, cultural center, and the Marcos highway to deodorize the Marcos kleptocracy.

Despite several court rulings in favor of the Philippine government only a drop in the bucket was recovered by the government. The Marcos family has not returned their stash, estimated at $10 billion, and continues to flaunt in every possible way their ill-gotten wealth to this day. They had not restored to the people what is due them. In fact, to this day the people are still suffering from that atrocious regime in paying those humongous loans.

Now, the Marcoses, through Junior Ferdinand, have the impudence to make a shameless run for the presidency of the Republic to become once again the hideous occupants of Malacañang.

With a bottomless war chest, Junior’s dream of following the footsteps of the rapacious patriarch of the family and in becoming like him is not very remote. He is so proud of his father whose rule, he and minions, have painted as the glorious era of the Republic that put the Philippines in the world map.

Indeed, it had. Great thanks to the magnificent achievement of the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos for having landed in the Guinness World Record for the “greatest robbery of a government” – the best thief ever to steal from a government – a record that remains unbroken to this day.

Are we simply to leave behind this abominable past?

NO. We should never forget.

We shall always remember.

Never again!

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)