FORMER SENATOR Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s administration would “hark back on the unresolved legacy” of Martial Law if he becomes the Philippines’ next president, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros, who is seeking reelection next year, said the country has not yet obtained a “transitional justice” as human rights violations during the term of Marcos’ father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has not been addressed.
“If he (Marcos) returns to the government, of course, it goes beyond his personhood alone but it will hark back on the unresolved legacy during Martial Law dictatorship,” Hontiveros said during a press conference with the university’s journalism students last Sept. 29.
The Marcoses should also recognize the wrongdoings of the late president and apologize to the Filipinos to fully obtain the redemption they wanted, Hontiveros added.
“I believe that redemption should have the sense of acknowledgment, apology, and amends,” the opposition senator said.
“They need to apologize. They should stop avoiding the issue. They must admit and ask for forgiveness from the people and correct their wrongdoings.”
The younger Marcos filed his certificate of candidacy for president last Oct. 6, allowing him to set a rematch with Vice President Leni Robredo, who defeated him in the race for the second-highest post in 2016. He said he aims to “bring back the unifying leadership” of his father, whose 20-year presidency was tainted with allegations of corruption, cronyism, and human rights abuses.
Hontiveros expressed optimism that Filipinos have learned their lesson and are now wiser in choosing their candidates. She also urged the public to “do the hard work” by putting up “winnable alternatives,” if they do not want the Marcoses to return to power.
“Who knows maybe the Filipino people have had enough of that kind of past nightmare and we would consider the lectures and disallow that similar nightmare from reoccurring,” the senator added.
The elder Marcos’ presidency was abruptly ended by the historic 1986 People Power Revolution, which paved the way to the restoration of democracy in the Philippines.
‘Youth to play a crucial role’
Another candidate for senator, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, said the youth could help preserve democracy through their eagerness to actively participate in discussions about politics.
He added that the 40 million youth voters, who constitute about 53 percent of the electorate next year, have been empowered by their awareness of societal affairs.
“I hope that you get to come out and vote because it makes sense that your vote is your voice, and it’s a voice that must be heard, and I can’t wait for your voice to be heard by the country,” Diokno said.
Diokno, who ran for senator in 2019 but lost, encouraged the youth to exercise their rights and to express their views on issues affecting the nation.
“The minute we give up our rights to express ourselves [and] to speak the truth to power, then we give up our democracy,” he said.
Voters’ registration will reopen from Oct. 11 until Oct. 30. F – Jhon Dave. D. Cusipag and Matthew Dave A. Jucom