Group exhorts Filipinos: Stay vigilant vs ‘attempts’ of Marcoses to return to Malacañang
MANILA, Philippines — Remain vigilant of alleged attempts of the Marcoses to return to the nation’s ultimate seat of power – Malacañang.
This was the stern warning of a group crusading against the return of the Marcoses and martial law, despite the recent setback that Bongbong Marcos received when the Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), tossed out his poll protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) said that although the SC decision is a welcome development, the public should not be complacent, hinting that there are alleged persistent attempts by the Marcoses to return to the “highest seat of power.”
“CARMMA welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest […] However, even if this particular path towards Malacañang has been closed, the people should remain vigilant against continued attempts of the Marcoses to return to power,” CARMMA said in a statement.
“CARMMA reminds the people that the objective of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ family remains – to entrench themselves once more in the highest seat of power and regain the powers that were taken from them by the people,” it added.
CARMMA, a group composed of activists and victims of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law, also implied that the government tried to interfere with the poll protest lodged by Marcos’ son and namesake against Robredo.
“It (SC decision) is doubly welcomed because the Duterte administration through Solicitor General Calida had several times attempted to influence the decision in favor of Marcos,” the group also said. “This is a long-delayed but satisfying outcome of the electoral protest filed by the Marcos camp questioning the results of the May 2016 elections.”
Currently, only two Marcoses hold vital spots in the government: Marcos’ daughter and Bongbong’s sister Senator Imee Marcos, and their cousin, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba.
Prior to 2016, Bongbong was a one-term senator, and Marcos’ widow, former first lady Imelda, was a representative of Ilocos Norte.
The over the two-decade regime of the Marcos patriarch was marred with allegations of human rights abuses, attacks on critics, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, and massive corruption and plunder.
The Marcos family has insistently denied any wrongdoing, but there have been cases wherein family members were convicted. In November 2018, Imelda Marcos was convicted by Sandiganbayan for graft, after she illegally siphoned funds to Swiss foundations while occupying various government posts from 1965 to 1986.
Then, Republic Act 10368 or Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act was enacted in 2013, which gave compensation to human rights victims during the Marcos regime. There is also a Hawaii court ruling which provided a $1,500-grant to martial law victims, stemming from the recovered ill-gotten wealth.
There are also several civil cases before the Sandiganbayan wherein expensive paintings were forfeited and declared part of illegally-amassed wealth by the Marcos family.
“We must remain vigilant. CARMMA has witnessed how the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family, during their bloody reign, usurped and subverted our democratic institutions to remain in power,” CARMMA said.
“That it has taken more than four years for the Supreme Court sitting as the PET to litigate the electoral protest clearly shows how the Marcoses used, and keeps on using, all available means to gain a foothold in Malacañang,” it added.