By Rie Takumi
Source: GMA News
The Campaign against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) challenged vice presidential candidate Senator Bongbong Marcos to answer “point-by-point” the “charge sheet” drawn up by the alliance on Wednesday.
CARMMA, an alliance of victims of human rights violations and their families under the Marcos regime, said the senator should not “evade the truth” and answer the allegations of abuses committed during the 21 year rule of his father, the late former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“Please do not anymore evade the truth by waxing philosophical or profound, as in ‘hindi ako, hindi ikaw angnakaraan.’ For starters, please answer the six issues,” CARMMA said.
CARMMA’s issues with Marcos are the following:
– The Marcos ill-gotten wealth. The group said the Supreme Court defined the Marcos ill-gotten wealth as those in excess of the family’s total legal income, which was around $304,000 only from 1965 to 1986. Some $10 billion are believed to have been amassed by the Marcoses through the years and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has managed to recover only about $4 billion.
– Partaking of the fruits of the plunder. According to the group, 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. “How could the Marcos family live in style all these years? Where is his election fund coming from?”
– Involvement in alleged crony capitalism. The group said that in 1985, when Bongbong was 26 years old, his father appointed him chairman of the board of the Philcomsat, receiving a monthly salary of anywhere between $9,700 to $97,000. This, despite that fact that he rarely even went to the Philcomsat office.
– Poverty and economic sabotage under the Marcos dictatorship. The group said the number of Filipinos living below the poverty line doubled from 18 million in 1965 to 35 million in February 1986. The dictator also left behind a staggering foreign debt of $27 billion. The group said these go against Bongbong’s claim that Filipinos were better off under the Marcos administration.
– Defending and promoting martial law. The group said at least 3,000 were killed and more than 30,000 were detained, brutally tortured, raped, or suffered various forms of abuse. It said Bongbong even had the gall to undermine the 9,539 human rights victims in the Hawaii class suit who won the case against the Marcos estate as purely motivated by compensation.
– Involvement in the P10-billion-peso pork barrel scam.
CARMMA spokesperson Bonifacio Ilagansaid that the Marcos family’s lifestyle was improbable to maintain on a government official’s salary and belied his statement that he is guiltless in his father’s crime.
“Bongbong, for 30 years, has been a mere salaried government official. How could the Marcos family live in style all these years? Where is his election fund coming from?” Ilagan said.
“As a reserve officer in the Philippine Army, Bongbong wore the military combat uniform when his father was sworn into office at the balcony of Malacañang after the dictator rigged the 1986 snap presidential elections. Bongbong upheld electoral fraud and was ready to defend the dictatorship by arms,” he added.
Bongbong has repeatedly said that there may have been abuses under his father’s administration but added that these were not national policy.
On Tuesday, he said that while he respected efforts to derail his campaigning efforts, his family did not have to apologize for the growth the country achieved from the 60’s to 80’s.