ML victims start campaign against return of Marcoses to Malacanang

Former political prisoners, other victims of the martial law regime and human rights advocates launched on Thursday a campaign to thwart attempts by the Marcoses to recapture Malacanang.

Called CARMMA or Campaign against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang, the group “says NO to Bongbong Marcos as vice-president because he is not the guiltless son that he presents himself to be,” Bonifacio Ilagan, vice chairperson of SELDA or the Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, said in a press release Thursday.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is running as vice president in this year’s elections.

Ilagan, quoting from CARMMA’s manfesto, warned that if Bongbong Marcos wins as vice-president, “the Marcos grand scheme to recapture Malacañang is just a stride away, given their billions of pesos in war chest, courtesy of the evil genius of Ferdinand Sr.”

The manifesto listed six “sins” of Marcos Jr. as bases for campaigning against his bid for the vice presidency.

It said that “while the sins of the father may not be passed on to the son, the son could very well inherit the ill-gotten wealth of the father. And Bongbong, with the family, did inherit the fruits of the legendary Marcos plunder amounting to hundreds of billions of pesos, much of which has yet to be uncovered, and which Bongbong will never reveal and give back.”

It accused Marcos Jr. of covering up “the unprecedented plunder and economic sabotage that his father committed in 20 years of his misrule, 14 of which were under the repressive martial law.” It noted that the son hailed his father’s dictatorship as “the best form of governance the Philippines has ever had.”

Marcos Jr.’s third “sin”, the manifesto said, is that “Bongbong arrogantly peddles the lie that his father’s wealth was legitimate.”

It said: “Bongbong whitewashes the Marcos dictatorship’s crony capitalism, of which he had been a part. In 1985, when Bongbong was 26 years old, his father appointed him chairman of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat), receiving a monthly salary of anywhere between $9,700 to $97,000. This, despite that fact that he had no duties in Philcomsat and rarely even went to office.”

It added that Marcos Jr. has continued to deny that his father was a “ruthless dictator” whose regime was accused of torture, summary killings and other abuses.

“Bongbong even had the gall to dismiss the 9,500 plus members of the human rights Hawaii class suit who won the case against the Marcos estate, as purely motivated by compensation. ‘Pera-para lang ang habol ng mga yan,’” Ilagan said.

CARMMA further said that Marcos Jr. has yet to explain how his P100-million pork barrel allocation was spent.

Victims of martial law filed and won a class suit against the Marcoses in a court in Hawaii after the ouster of the dictatorship. A US aircraft brought the Marcos family to Hawaii as thousands of Filipinos stormed the gates of Malacanang as the four-day Edsa uprising in February 1986 reached its climax.

Thousands were jailed during martial law, mostly without warrant. Several activists and people suspected of anti-government activities fell victims to “salvaging” or summary killings.

Karapatan and SELDA Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said the Filipino people, especially the youth, must “study the lessons of the repressive martial law years, and be watchful of the maneuvers to bring back the Marcoses back to Malacanang.”

The initiators of CARMMA include the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Kilusan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas, Promotion of Church People’s Response, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, SELDA, BAYAN, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers,  Desaparecidos, and Hustisya. (MindaNews)