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‘We’ll pay Marcos debt until 2025’

/ 12:50 AM March 18, 2016

DAVAO CITY—Of all the myths that had been built around martial law, it is that which claims that one-man rule brought about the country’s golden economic age which is the biggest insult to Filipinos, according to a militant lawmaker.

Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, of the party-list group Bayan Muna, said claims of economic prosperity during the reign of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos were a “manufactured myth.”

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“Under the Marcos regime, the country’s foreign debt skyrocketed from $599 million in 1966 to $26.7 billion in 1986,” said Zarate in a statement.

“We are so deep in debt that we have been paying the Marcos debt for the past 30 years since the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship,” he said.

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“We will be paying the Marcos debt, which mostly went to their own pockets, until 2025, or almost 40 years after Edsa,” he said.

Zarate also described as a tragedy the possibility of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. winning the vice presidential race in the May elections.

“It is as tragic as it is reckless, especially since Bongbong is not only unapologetic—even defensive—of the many sins of his father’s regime,” said the militant lawmaker.

“He even refuses to acknowledge the gross abuses during the time of martial law. It is ominous that he is so close to (winning) the (second) highest position of the land,” Zarate said in his statement.

“Senator Marcos attempts to rewrite history for his family’s self-serving interest. His propaganda machinery, aided by the lack of historical consciousness in our education system, has spun a fairy tale of better times during the dictatorship,” Zarate added.

The militant lawmaker said many families lost their best and brightest sons and daughters fighting the regime that “violated democratic rights, plundered our coffers and abused the rights of the people.”

“Senator Marcos is not the answer to a more democratic, equitable and just society. He represents the worst of state terrorism, plunder and tyranny,” he said.

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Marcos Jr. said talk about him repeating what his father did is baseless since he is running for vice president.

“I’m [running for] vice president. [If I win, I could not do the things that the president does,” Marcos said at a recent sortie in Pangasinan.

“You know, 1986 was 30 years ago. The world then was different from the world now. The Philippines then was different from the Philippines now,” he said.

“You have to ask those who are afraid, why they would be afraid of me. I’m doing my work to continue serving the people the best I could,” said the senator. Nico Alconaba, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Elections 2016, Marcos dictatorship, news, Regions
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