Is he? Such an intriguing and controversial question. Does he have any accountability of what has happened during his father’s rule?
The Martial Law of 1972 is memorable not for the right reasons for some people. It was a time where abuse, torture, murder, and human rights violation originated from the people in power – the government. They should have been the ones protecting the people – but it wasn’t the case that time.
With more power, greed came along. Major takeovers of the biggest industries and companies which allowed the president that time, Ferdinand Marcos to increase his wealth, stolen wealth to be exact.
There was no lack of documentation regarding the human rights violations and how the ill-gotten wealth was accumulated during the Martial Law. However, Ferdinand Marcos’ remaining family deny accountability up to this day.
Let’s talk about Bongbong Marcos, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos’ only son and their second eldest. It is true that his father’s sins are not his sins. Imelda’s sins aren’t his either. He didn’t choose them to be his parents.
During the Martial Law, he was an adult already. While being a minor during the declaration of Martial Law, he was 18 and perfectly an adult in 1975. It would have been impossible to not have heard of what has been happening to the country that time.
And during the Martial Law, their family lived in privilege. Studying abroad, grand parties, wedding of a sibling that entailed a lot of spending – like creating a runway and importing carriages abroad. The excessive lifestyle would have been hard to miss.
The reports regarding abuse and how the ill-gotten wealth was acquired weren’t secrets. The PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Government) was even formed to recover the stolen wealth after the long Marcos regime.
Your parents’ sin may not be yours but when you are fully aware of the extent of what they have done but chose to have a blind eye – that’s a different matter altogether. Bongbong became an adult during the Martial Law. He can’t pretend that he has no knowledge of the events that has transpired.
Despite the reports and documentation regarding torture and unnecessary takeovers of companies and power, Bongbong continues to justify the implementation of Martial Law to this day.
Let’s talk about the stolen wealth as well. Ferdinand Marcos’ reported annual income during his rule never exceeded USD 13,500. And that says a lot about the lifestyle the Marcos family led. Imelda Marcos’ inclination for luxurious and expensive things will always come up.
Her love for shoes, shopping, jewelries, and one of a kind paintings are infamous. She loved to travel and even included her Blue Ladies (her co-wives of politicians in the Nacionalista Party) in her trips abroad.
How could the president of the country afford such luxuries? The reported amount that has been stolen from the country is estimated at USD 10 billion.
Sadly, only a portion of it has been recovered by the PCGG. The Marcos children and remaining family benefited from the ill-gotten wealth before and continues to enjoy it up to this day.
Going back to the question, should Bongbong Marcos be accountable? And that’s a rhetorical question.
Alexis Romero, “Bongbong lacks honesty, accountability – Palace,”
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/02/29/1558000/bongbong-lacks-honesty-accountability-palace, (February 29, 2016).
“Bongbong Marcos accountable for many other things,”
http://www.bantayog.org/bongbong-marcos-accountable-for-many-other-things/, (October 24, 2015).