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‘Feud’ with Marcoses about getting justice–Palace

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 07:12 AM November 21, 2014
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Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—It’s not about two political families but about obtaining justice for martial law victims.

This was Malacañang’s reaction on Thursday to Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ statement that it was about time that the Aquino and Marcos families reconciled and moved on from the past for the benefit of the country.

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“If we look at the statements of President Aquino, he doesn’t agree with the proposition that this is (a feud) between two families because his response has always been about the importance of getting justice for the people,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

“So this is not between two families. This is about justice,” Coloma said.

Marcos was asked in a radio interview yesterday if he thought it possible that the Aquino and Marcos families would settle their differences.

The senator appeared to think that it was possible, saying that an end to the political feud between the Cojuangco-Aquino and Romualdez-Marcos families would lead to reconciliation and unity, and ultimately allow the country to move forward.

But the President and the senator—both the only sons and namesakes of their fathers—do not share the same sentiments about martial law.

Mr. Aquino continues to maintain that his family was among the thousands of martial law victims.

The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was the suspected mastermind in the assassination of the late opposition Sen. Ninoy Aquino Jr. on the latter’s return from exile in the United States in 1983. But the dictator was never prosecuted.

Aquino’s murder sparked a nationwide outrage that led to the bloodless revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

To this day, the mastermind of the Aquino assassination has not been unmasked. Only the soldiers who escorted Aquino from the airplane down to the airport tarmac where he was shot were charged and found guilty, serving two decades in prison.

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In a speech on his first visit to Boston since leaving the United States in 1983, a nostalgic trip that coincided with the 42nd anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of martial law, President Aquino said he had considered seeking revenge for his father’s murder.

He said it was the sobering reminder of a Japanese official that brought him to his senses—that the Filipino people would be expecting much from him as the only son of Ninoy Aquino and Cory Cojuangco-Aquino, who eventually succeeded the dictator as president.

At Thursday’s press briefing, Coloma recalled that Mr. Aquino had told a foreign correspondents’ forum in 2011 that a state funeral for Marcos was not justified because of the hardships experienced by the people under martial law.

According to Coloma, it could not be said that the Aquino-Marcos feud was personal because the Marcoses, in their official capacities as elected officials, had always been invited to official functions in Malacañang under Mr. Aquino.

“There have been several interactions and we have not seen any personal hostility among the individuals we are referring to,” he said.

The senator and his elder sister, Ilocos Rep. Imee Marcos, went to the wake of the late President Cory Aquino who died in August 2009. They met with the President’s eldest sibling, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz.

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TAGS: Aquino, Herminio Coloma Jr., Marcos, Marcos families, Marcoses, Martial law, Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Senator Marcos
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