The camp of presidential candidate former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 said that abuses and atrocities may have been committed during the martial law period but such acts were anomalies perpetrated “by all sides” that were at war.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, legal counsel of Marcos, aired this view in reaction to Deputy Speaker and Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza’s demand for the former senator to acknowledge that various excesses have been committed by government when his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, placed the whole country under martial law starting 1972.
Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa also aired a similar challenge to the young Marcos in a separate media interview on Tuesday.
Atienza is running for vice president while Dela Rosa has filed his candidacy as presidential bet of the PDP-Laban (Cusi Wing).
“The country was at war during the time of former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos and we were fighting wars on two fronts, the secessionists movement in the south and the communist insurgency,” explained Rodriguez.
He stressed: “And as in all wars, atrocities and abuses were committed by all sides.” Military atrocities, massive corruption and human rights abuses allegedly committed during the martial law years are being raised against the young Marcos’ presidential bid months before the campaign period could start.
The former senator had time and again responded by saying that he committed no wrongdoing against the Filipino people.
Supporters have decried the criticisms as both unreasonable and unfair as they pointed out that a father’s alleged wrongdoing cannot be blamed on the son.
Atienza said Marcos need not apologize for the sins of his father but must admit and recognize that atrocities and other crimes have been committed against Filipinos by the Marcos administration.
“I am not asking Bongbong Marcos to apologize for his sins. I am just asking him to recognize that martial law and his father, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, did not do well, did not really benefit the Filipinos at maraming (and many) atrocities ang nangyari,” Atienza said during an interview at CNN Philippines The Source.
The young Marcos, Atienza stressed, cannot claim innocence about the events that transpired during his father’s reign as chief executive because he was already matured enough to know them at the time.
“You were already a matured man when you fled the Philippines. Anong sasabihin mo na wala kang alam, naka fatigue uniform ka pa noon. Palagay ko meron silang selective memory (You cannot say you were unaware, you even wore a fatigue uniform then. I think they have a selective memory,” Atienza said.
Bongbong was about 15 years old when his father declared martial law in 1972 and was about 29 when his the People Power revolt brought down his father’s administration in 1986.