Aquino wasted an opportunity to unite the nation, says Sen. Marcos
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr. has accused President Benigno Aquino III of engaging in partisan politics and dividing the country when he declared that there would be no state funeral for his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
“It’s very hard to deal in good faith with somebody who does not have one word on the subject. Nagulat nga ako, yun palang pag-uusap na ito, pagdidiskusyon ay sarzuela lang pala (I was surprised that all the discussion on this was just a sarzuela),” Marcos told reporters on Wednesday.
Marcos noted that Aquino made a promise to study the proposed state funeral for his father when he was campaigning and when he assumed the presidency, Aquino even directed Vice President Jejomar Binay to make a study on it.
But all these pronouncements, the Senator said, were put to waste by Aquino’s declaration that he would not allow a state funeral for President Marcos during his term.
“It was a futile exercise. I don’t know. It was plain acting on his part, on the President’s part and I’m very disappointed that we can’t count on our President to have one word. We can’t count on our President to exercise and exhibit leadership unifying our country,” he said.
Asked if Aquino’s move was motivated by personal grudge, “Ano sa palagay mo? Palagay ko. (What do you think? I think it was),” Marcos said.
“Because clearly the thing to do for a leader is to unify our country and to continue these divisions and widen those divisions is not the act of a leader, it’s not the act of the head of the state, it’s not the act of somebody who’s trying to bring the country together. It’s the act of somebody who is continuing to promote the divisiveness of partisan politics,” he added.
Marcos said the President wasted a good opportunity to unify the nation.
“Ang trabaho ng Presidente ay hindi makipaglaro sa partisan politics kundi ipagkaisa ang ating bayan and that is apparently not his tendency. He would like to continue what divisions we have in our country. Obviously, he does not want to heal these divisions. He wants to widen those divisions, which just brings us to the conclusion that he’s not a natural leader,” said the senator.
And because of this, Marcos promised to become a staunch critic of the Aquino administration.
“Asahan nyo yan (You bet I will),” the very upset senator said.
And since the President has already made the decision, Marcos said his family would just keep his father in Ilocos Norte.
“What options do we have? None,” he said.
“He will lie in state in Ilocos,” Marcos said though he hinted that the family would still be open for negotiations.
“We have never closed our doors. We are always open to discussion. We are always open to negotiations. But unless there are two parties who are open to negotiations, discussion, then there’s no point. This is a futile exercise,” he said.
The President’s father, the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino II, was the most vocal and fearless critic of the late dictator Marcos whose 20-year rule was marked by rampant extra-judicial killings, graft and corruption. He was toppled by an uprising called Edsa People Power Revolution and was succeeded by the current President’s mother, Corazon Aquino.
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