Stop the lies, Bongbong told
THE CRIMES of Bongbong Marcos’ parents during the Marcos dictatorship were so extensive their accounting has yet to be completed.
Ferdinand Marcos wrecked Congress, the courts and the bureaucracy. He prostituted the military. He shackled the country with debts. He had a nuclear plant built that never operated but which the country has to pay for in loans. Bongbong’s parents stole billions of pesos of the people’s money and from their political opponents.
Ferdinand Marcos had thousands jailed, abducted, tortured or killed. Many activists are still missing to this day. A law was enacted by Congress in 2012 offering reparation to these victims. As of the latest, 75,000 have
applied (and thousands more did not, or failed to, file) for claims.
Compensation would be taken from assets recovered from Swiss banks, described by Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Swiss Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Burkhalter as “looted from the state” by a “corrupt dictator.” The law was an effort by the Philippine and Swiss governments to “right the wrongs committed by the Marcos regime,” said the Swiss ambassador.
We, who are writing this letter, represent a foundation that launched a book just last month, containing over 100 accounts of the lives of those heroic individuals who fought Bongbong’s father’s regime because they saw it as undemocratic, cruel and corrupt. We have accounts of unarmed activists shot dead in San Rafael, Bulacan; or who were abducted and later found barely alive or dead in Angeles City, Pampanga; or who were mowed down with gunfire while joining rallies in Escalante in Negros Occidental and in Daet in Camarines Norte. The book was published by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
It is time for honesty, Mr. Senator. You owe it to the country that let you go free unharmed when in February 1986, the Filipino people finally drove your family out. It was through a democratic uprising called in song “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo,” a gift to the world, because Filipinos managed to cut the Marcos stranglehold with very little violence. It was a gift to you
also—a gift of your second lives.
You owe it to the victims of your parents’ regime, but you also owe it to your own sons. How do you teach them the selflessness of true public service and the value of honesty and of righting of wrongs if you lack the courage to admit the truth? How do you spare your sons the scorn that certainly faces them if your family continues to feel no remorse or regret over the years of dictatorship?
You are nearing your 60s, a senator, and possessed of normal intelligence. You know what it is exactly that you and your family have to be sorry for. History will judge, you say? That is why you must now stop the lies—because precisely, history, and the people you have aggrieved, will judge.
—TRUSTEES OF BANTAYOG NG MGA BAYANI FOUNDATION
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