Challenge to Digong
The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives urged President Duterte on Wednesday to end his alliance with the family of Ferdinand Marcos, days after the dictator’s surprise burial at Manila’s heroes’ cemetery triggered widespread protests.
But while the seven-member bloc criticized President Duterte, it said it remained supportive of his “propeople” policies specially when it came to peace negotiations and his independent foreign policy.
“If he continues along this path, we will become more critical and militant in opposing the same, even as we continue to support his propeople stand for peace talks and for an independent foreign policy,” the bloc said in a statement read by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio.
Tinio said the “pro-Marcos pronouncements” were “negatively affecting our attitude to his administration.”
“We challenge Pres. Duterte to end his alliance with the Marcos family; repudiate the Marcosian tactics of extrajudicial killings; desist from… other fascist measures in the name of peace and order and his war against illegal drugs,” Tinio said.
Makabayan cited Mr. Duterte’s “threat” to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, a court remedy that safeguards against warrantless arrest by requiring authorities to present the body of a person in custody.
Marcos suspended the privilege on Aug. 21, 1971 after the bombing of the Liberal Party’s campaign rally at Plaza Miranda. A year later, he placed the country under martial law.
Thousands were tortured or went missing during the bloody dictatorship. Marcos was believed to have looted up to $10 billion during the two-decade regime, which was ended by the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986 that sent him and his family into exile in Hawaii. He died three three years later, but his body was subsequently allowed home.
The Makabayan bloc demanded that the Duterte government “go after the billions of dollars of ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and made them criminally liable for plunder and human rights violations.”
It also held the President “accountable for his role in granting honors to the worst plunderer and human rights violator in the nation’s history.”
“We demand that he take steps to correct this grave error and reverse this unconscionable attack on truth and justice, on the victims of martial rule, and the Filipino people,” the bloc said.
“It’s not just [President Benigno Aquino III] who’s being blamed here; it’s the system itself. We’re not letting anybody off,” added Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.
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