Koko to Imee: Only ML victims can say if ‘it’s time to move on’
Only the victims of President Ferdinand Marcos’ strongman rule have the right to say that “it’s time to move on,” Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said on Saturday.
Pimentel was reacting to Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos’ earlier post on social media urging people to “move on” from what she described as the “Aquino-Marcos feud,” referring to the families of former President Corazon Aquino and dictator Marcos.
“The millennials have moved on, and I think people my age should also move on,” the Ilocos governor posted on social media on Aug. 21, the 35th anniversary of the murder of former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., one of the staunchest critics of her father.
But in a radio interview, Pimentel said: “It should not be the perpetrator of injustice or hardship [who] should say people should move on just because the deception had already happened and people were used, so just move on.”
Pimentel’s father, former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., was among the thousands of Marcos critics jailed during martial law.
The Marcoses “should wait” for the people to say that they’ve forgiven the Marcoses for the abuses of his dictatorship, the senator said. “The people themselves should do so, that’s the right sequence,” he added.
Asked whether the Marcoses should apologize, Pimentel said the family should just wait for the people’s reaction to Imee Marcos’ statement.
The governor’s remarks drew immediate outrage from netizens and youth groups, with one of them saying: “There is no moving on until justice has been served. There is also no moving on in that we will never forget the damage martial law has done.”
Most reactions harped on one theme: “Apologize, return what you’ve stolen, and then maybe we can move on!”
In a forum in Quezon City on Friday, former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was asked about his sister’s statement, but he initially refused to answer the question categorically, saying the issue was now more than 30 years old.
Marcos Jr. said he understood where his sister was coming from when she made the post.
She may have been “frustrated” after being asked the question over and over again. “It had been decided. The government fell, the cases against us were filed, the cases came [up] with a decision that’s conclusive,” Marcos said.
“What else do we [as a nation] need to do? The PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Government) has already been abolished,” he added.
But a check on the status of the PCGG showed that the agency created 35 years ago to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth remains an active government agency, although there is a proposal in the House of Representatives to abolish it.
In May, House Bill No. 7376 hurdled the third and final reading in the House. Once abolished, the PCGG’s functions would be transferred to the Office of Solicitor General, currently headed by Jose Calida, a known Marcos supporter.
The Senate, however, said it would not follow the House’s lead.
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