Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, martial law abuses are legitimate election issues
If one is fully aware of the kleptocracy under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda, the revelation about the P203 billion in unpaid estate taxes by the Marcos family (“Tax debt of the Marcos estate,” Crosscurrents, 9/30/21) would be revealing but no longer shocking.
It just tells us the kind of people that have been trying to regain lost political power after looting government coffers dry during their 20 years in power. The way Imelda Marcos and her children have brazenly disregarded the payment of their estate taxes shows how they have become used to trifling with the rule of law in the country with so much impunity.
The ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses has long been proven to exist, as declared by several Supreme Court decisions (“Do the Marcoses have ill-gotten wealth?,” With Due Respect, 9/26/21). And yet that continues to be vigorously denied by the Marcos heirs. Equally disgraceful are arguments that exculpate the children for the misdeeds of their father, conveniently overlooking the fact that the Marcos children and their families have lived luxurious and privileged lives on the fruits of their father’s plunder.
Did they ever wonder for a second where all the billions of money came from? And now they have been using this stolen wealth to make a grand political comeback, with support from President Duterte who idolizes his dictator-hero so much that he allowed Marcos’ burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The Marcos wealth and the abuses of martial law are legitimate issues that should be considered by our countrymen in choosing the next president in 2022. This is not indulging in blame game and politicking, even if political opportunists are sure to surface during this political season. We are very close to the next elections, and the country’s future will be shaped by the kind of leaders we will have for the next six years. The electorate should scrutinize the track record of those who present themselves as the best candidate that can save the country from its current terrible situation. Maybe we can start with the COVID-19 response of the Duterte administration, which has been so mismanaged and corrupted as to enable overpricing and manipulation in the procurement of COVID-19-related medical supplies and cause so much human misery.
As voters, we cannot be so smug and indifferent as to turn a blind eye to the corruption and misgovernance that have afflicted the country, and so undiscriminating as not to recognize false and pretentious leaders whether from the past or present who have brought this curse upon the nation. We have to demand accountability and even retribution for their crimes against the people—by not electing them into office and depriving them the opportunity to commit the same transgressions again.
Donato Soliven, [email protected]