By Elizabeth Marcelo
Source: GMA News
A few days before the official start of the campaign period for the May elections, a group of about a hundred martial law victims and human rights advocates has launched a campaign which aims to upset the vice presidential bid of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In a short gathering held Thursday, the group launched what they dubbed as the “Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang” or CARMMA.
GMA News Online on Friday repeatedly tried to talk to the group’s spokesperson, director and writer Bonifacio Ilagan, but he was not answering calls and text messages.
However, on its Facebook page, the group described itself as a “network” composed of “martial law victims, civil libertarians, peace and freedom advocates and militant groups”.
The group said most of its members belonged in the “anti-Marcos/anti-dictatorship movement of the late 70s and early 80s that resulted in the historic 1986 EDSA People Power Uprising that toppled the dictator and led to the exile of the entire Marcos family”.
Senator Marcos is the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos who declared martial law in 1972.
“CARMMA aims to torpedo the VP aspiration of Bongbong Marcos through public information and mass actions,” the group said on its Facebook page.
The group said that after CARMMA’s launching in the National Capital Region (NCR), a similar campaign network will also be replicated in major cities and provinces “where there are a strong presence of anti-Marcos advocates and militant groups”.
The group said their mass actions “will hound Marcos wherever he goes” as they will try to maximize their “exposure” on the tri-media (print, radio and television) as well as on the new media or the internet.
The group said the target of their campaign is to educate the public, especially the youth, about the human rights abuses prevalent during the martial law era.
“CARMMA will remind the public of the widespread human rights violations that were perpetrated by the Marcos fascist dictatorship using the military as its primary tool of suppression of civil liberties and basic freedoms,” the group said.
“Victims of illegal arrests, torture and other abuses and families of those salvaged and those who continue to be missing will serve as the living testimony of what people who fought against Martial Law and the Marcos dictatorship suffered under the US-backed regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong’s father, and his military apparatus,” the group added.
The group demanded that Marcos acknowledge the abuses during martial law and “issue a public apology to the Filipino people”.
The group further demanded that the Marcos family let go of their alleged ill-gotten wealth.
“This means that, at the minimum, they should drop all the cases they filed against the government to defy sequestration. They should then surrender their ill-gotten wealth as a form of atonement and to enable the government to indemnify the victims of Martial Law,” the group said.
GMA News Online tried to get a reaction from Marcos Jr. but he was not answering calls and text messages.
On February 9, Tuesday, Marcos and his running mate, presidential aspirant Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago are set to kick off their campaign in Batac, Ilocos Norte, the hometown of the late dictator Marcos.