Little Marcos’ presidential campaign provoked painful memories in the Philippines

The victim of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos is trying to get his son, the presidential candidate Ferdinand Bongbong” Marcos Jr, was disqualified from participating in next year’s elections.

Although this challenge involves legal and technical issues related to long-settled tax cases, it has reopened an unresolved debate among Filipinos, discussing how they remembered his father’s regime, which imprisoned and killed thousands of people and killed them. Plundered state-owned assets.

“We don’t want Bonifacio or any of his family members to return to power,” Bonifacio Ilagan (Bonifacio) Ilagan) submitted the application. In case of disqualification, tell the Financial Times.

“Marcos returned to Malacañang [presidential palace] Will completely subvert our history. ”

Carmma has filed a petition with the country’s election commission to ban Jr. Marcos from running for the election on the grounds that he failed to file an income tax return when he was a local official during his father’s rule from 1982 to 1985.

Critics and supporters of the 64-year-old politician are now debating to what extent he should be held responsible for his father’s crimes.

According to opinion polls, little Marcos is the most popular candidate to win the May 2022 election, and his camp describes a petition for disqualification-one of them Five people opposed his candidacy -As “gutter politics”. His running partner will be a descendant of another political dynasty: Sara Duterte, Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Rodrigo Duterte’s first thing as president in 2016 was to hold a heroic funeral for Marcos in Manila.

According to one estimate According to the American historian Alfred McCoy, 3,257 people were killed extrajudicially during Marcos’s ten years of martial law. Tens of thousands of people were imprisoned or tortured before the dictator and his family fled to Hawaii during the “People Power” uprising in 1986, when Bang Bang was only 28 years old.

Iragan, now 70, still vividly recounted the ordeals he suffered when he was young.

As a student activist at the University of the Philippines, Iragan escaped underground in 1971, was arrested and subjected to “cruel” abuse three years later.

He said it included the “San Juan Nico Bridge,” which is a form of torture in which prisoners were asked to hang between cribs and were punched and kicked in the abdomen. Iragan also said that the jailer put a hot iron on the soles of his feet and once inserted a stick in his penis.

Marcos Jr and his wife Louise left in 2018. He was convicted of failing to pay income tax in 1995 and later successfully appealed © REUTERS

His sister Rizalina, another student activist, was kidnapped by the military in 1977. She was a member of a group of 10 people in one of the largest enforced disappearance cases of that era, some of which were later found. Rizalina’s body was never found.

In 1995, the young Marcos was convicted by the District Court for failing to pay income tax and file tax returns between 1982 and 1985. At that time, he served as deputy governor and then governor of Ilocos Norte, a region located in Northern Luzon.

Two years later, the Court of Appeal acquitted him on a charge against him-not paying taxes-and revoked the sentence imposed by the lower court. The same court upheld his conviction for failing to file a return, and Marcos Jr. paid 67,137 pesos (now worth $1,300) to make up for what his lawyers called “missing paperwork.”

His spokesperson and chief of staff Victor Rodriguez told the Financial Times: “There has been no tax evasion case against presidential candidate Bonbon Marcos, nor has it been maliciously and maliciously promoted by his critics’ political propaganda. Convicted of tax evasion.”

The Philippine election law prohibits candidates who have been sentenced to more than 18 months for crimes involving “moral corruption”-a requirement that may render the petition against little Marcos meaningless when the court overturns his sentence .

In comments to the media, including in an interview with the Financial Times in 2018, the young Marcos downplayed his father’s dictatorship and claimed that any lawsuits against his family were unsuccessful.

However, in 2018, the court Established Former first lady Imelda Marcos (Imelda Marcos) committed seven counts of embezzlement for illegally transferring funds to a Swiss foundation while in her husband’s government.

After the inauguration of the president in 1965, Ferdinand Marcos, accompanied by his family, waved to the crowd
After the inauguration of the president in 1965, Ferdinand Marcos, accompanied by his family, waved to the crowd ©Bettmann Archive via Getty Images

“Marcos is not his father, and the sins of his father should not be blamed on his son,” said Carlos Conde, a researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But he and his mother have been trying to deny responsibility for all cases in court.”

In addition to his political role, Marcos Jr. is also chairman of Philcomsat, one of the companies seized by Corazon Aquino’s “People’s Power” government, which took power after the dictator’s overthrow because it investigated The accusation of “crony capitalism”.

When asked whether little Marcos played a role in his father’s dictatorship, Rodríguez said: “Little Marcos does not use answers to solemnly… The reason why such a question is raised is because of the Filipino people. I have long believed in the sins of my father, if any, [are] It cannot be passed on to children. ”

However, Kama activist Ilagan described Jr. Marcos as “an important part of the martial law dictatorship.”

“This is really an uphill battle for us,” Iragan said. “I have devoted more than half of my life to this struggle for democracy in the Philippines. For me, in the twilight years of my life, I think there is no turning back.”

Additional reporting by Guill Ramos in Manila

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