On January 28, progressive party Makabayan Bloc endorsed the candidacies of presidential aspirant Leni Robredo and her VP-running mate Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan. In doing this, the group is working so that the tyranny of the joint families of Marcos and Duterte will never happen again.
The Makabayan Bloc is well-known for having spoken and fought what was seen as tyrannical moves of the current administration, such as the bloody war on drugs and the passage of Anti-Terrorism Law. Seeing Robredo’s platforms for the marginalized and other neglected sectors urged them to choose the candidate as the official candidate for the opposition.
Makabayan Bloc’s endorsement for #LeniKiko is a huge move to stop the comeback of the Marcoses on the post and for the Dutertes as well. Preventing them from coming back to national posts will be a huge relief to the Filipino people because their reign is a tragedy among the marginalized.
Surely the answer to the question “why progressive groups Makabayan Bloc, chose Robredo, a liberal, instead of Ka Leody De Guzman, who in the first place is leftist like them?” It must be simply because Robredo has a higher chance of winning than De Guzman, and giving support to Robredo is a practical way to oppose the Marcos-Duterte tandem. Even De Guzman, when asked in a media interview who will he vote aside from himself, said he will vote for Robredo.
While Marcos Jr.’s supporters continue to argue that the sins against the Filipino people of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos were not Junior’s fault, this can only be true if he was not himself a participant during those times. He was old enough then to be vice governor and governor of Ilocos Norte, and be appointed as chair of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation.
Marcos Jr. is family, namesake son and heir apparent no less, and held various posts in government while his father (and mother) took over all branches of government, albeit making a pretense of returning to democracy (which only really happened when the people threw him out), took control of the wealth of the nation and jailed, tortured and killed those who get in their way. The minimum crime or vice for his being able to hold posts during his family’s reign of power is nepotism bordering graft.
Much more, Marcos Jr. is involved in spreading lies by taking part in the historical distortion during his father’s reign. He feigns to have no knowledge of the Martial law human rights record from Amnesty International: 34, 000 were tortured, 70,000 were imprisoned, and 3,240 were murdered. He further abets these gruesome crimes by he himself not apologizing for these grave sins that have been committed, not even acknowledging them despite several courts here and abroad to have charged them guilty with such, giving way to reparations claims for just the several thousand among these victims, charged against the wealth that was stolen by the Marcos family.
How can he not be part of the original sin when he enables the corruption of his family by not giving back the money they stole from the Filipino people and that was already also proven in several courts, giving way to laws and government agencies tasked to retrieve the ill-gotten wealth from the Marcoses— that indeed, is a continuation of the sins that his father has committed. He cannot feign ignorance that there was not this money stolen—he basked in them. He was afforded the life he lived all those years during Martial Law and up to the present as the family has not returned a big chunk of this money.
In fact, according to Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the Marcoses opened and maintained numerous Swiss accounts through their dummies/nominees, fronts or agents who formed those foundations or corporate entities. They are still saddled with 282 pending cases that intend to recover their ill-gotten wealth. If Marcos Jr. will be elected as the country’s top leader, there is a lot of doubt whether the unreturned ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses will ever be returned to the Filipino people.
And now this is probably the money they are using to fund his national elections campaigns.
It is the same case with Marcos’ running mate for Vice President Sara Duterte, the daughter of the current President of the Philippines, who repeated Duterte’s ruse in the filing of candidacy. Not any less dramatic than the elderly Duterte’s Certificate of Candidacy filing drama, she first denied that she is running for a national post, filed her COC as Mayor of Davao, then, later on, withdrew without saying what her plans are and finally filing for vice-president candidacy before the substitution deadline expired, substituting Lyle Uy of the LAKAS-CMD.
Undoubtedly, she will use and is set to gain from her father’s clout as an incumbent president to win in the elections.
Now that both the son and daughter of the two dictators have joined forces, it is not impossible that we will live in fear once more. It is not unlikely for voices of dissent and independent journalism to be killed and justice will die—especially in relation to absolving the crimes of their fathers. It is not unlikely that while our personal freedoms and liberties are being trampled, the nation’s sovereignty will be sold to the highest bidder or debtor, the one that will put more money in the pockets of those in power. It is highly unlikely that the apple fell far from the tree, especially when these apples were nurtured in the orchard built on the sufferings of the people and one that they must continue to protect and preserve lest they be held accountable.
The endorsement of the Makabayan bloc for #LeniKiko is a spark of hope that the living nightmare we experience under the failed leadership of Marcos and of Duterte will not so freely happen again.