Sen. Marcos urges Aquino: Stop jailing political foes
President Benigno Aquino III should stop making it a policy to jail political opponents while favoring his allies, one of his foes in the Senate said on Friday.
In a statement, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Aquino should not adopt such a political move used by previous administrations that only serves to “divide Filipinos”
“The next President should not make it a government policy to jail political opponents,” Marcos said in a radio interview.
Marcos is the son and namesake of the late dictator former President Ferdinand Marcos, who was deposed from power in a people’s uprising in 1986 and replaced by the late former President Corazon Aquino, President Aquino’s mother.
“We should do away with what we have been seeing in the past few years when recent administrations adopted a deliberate campaign of vengeance against their political foes, practically making it a national policy,” Marcos said.
Aquino is accused of jailing opposition senators Ramon Revilla Jr. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile. Revilla is chairman of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) party of former President Gloria Arroyo while Enrile and Estrada are members of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s United Nationalist Alliance.
Meanwhile, Aquino was said to be sparing some of his allies involved in the pork barrel scam. The third batch of pork barrel scam charges–which supposedly involved Cabinet member Secretary Joel Villanueva, Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) chief–are yet to be filed.
Binay himself faces graft complaints before the Ombudsman over the alleged overprice of the Makati Parking Building, Makati Science Building, among other purported anomalies in the infrastructure projects of Makati when he was mayor.
Estrada and Revilla are detained while Enrile is in hospital detention as they stand trial for plunder and graft over the alleged diversion of their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks using the foundations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.
It was also during the Aquino administration when the ailing former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo was placed in hospital detention for plunder over the alleged misuse of P366 million from the intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office from 2008 to 2010 for personal gain.
Senator Marcos urged the President to work to unite the country instead of resorting to machinations that would only benefit a political party.
“We should leave that culture of vengeance behind us. What the next President should strive is to unite the country so that every Filipino could work together for the good of our country—not for personal gain, not for the benefit of a party, but for the benefit of the entire nation,” Marcos said of Aquino, who chairs the ruling Liberal Party.
“The top priority of the next President is not to go after political opponents and play politics. His priority should be how to push the development of our country, how to improve the lives of our people, how to grow the economy,” he added.
Marcos said Aquino may himself face charges after his term over his economic stimulus package–the Disbursement Acceleration Program, parts of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. AU
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.