by Alan Robles
Martial Law's Human rights victims are motivated by greed. All they want is money. Wait, come to think of it, there probably AREN'T any human rights victims at all.. And oh yeah, EDSA 1986? That was a "power grab."
Authentic words of wisdom coming to us from Ferdinand "Mini Me" Marcos jr 16 years ago, as reported in the Manila Times.
It was 1999, and the Marcoses were feeling very good about themselves. After all, not only were they back in power (Imelda and daughter Imee had gotten themselves elected to Congress), Joseph Estrada had just won the presidency. He was a friend of the Marcoses, and had said he wanted to have the repulsive dead dictator's decaying remains buried in a hero's grave at Libingan ng Mga Bayani. Apart from this, his administration was working on a "compromise agreement" that would see the government dropping all ill-gotten wealth cases against the Marcoses, who would be allowed to hang on to a generous portion of their plundered wealth.
Little wonder, then, that Baby Marcos would go around crowing, figuratively spitting into the faces of the thousands of people who were tortured by his dad's regime. It looked like easy street for the Marcos family, with Marcos junior looking at a straight shot at the senate and from there to the Palace.
Then it all fell apart. In 2001, Estrada was chased out of office by a public outraged by revelations he was treating the country as if it were a giant gambling syndicate. Marcos' malignant cadaver went unburied, the compromise agreement went pfft and Baby Marcos went off to a corner to cool his jets.
Now it's 2015 and Marcos junior is all set to fulfill his dilapidated mom's desire that he retake Malacañang by starting off as vice-president. Again, he has the support of the disgraced Estrada, who was convicted, pardoned and is now mayor of Manila. Has Mini Me changed his views after all these years? What do you think? Recently, he was quoted as saying his family has "nothing to apoogize for" as far as his father's crimes are concerned. Older, not wiser and definitely a Marcos.
Below is the complete news story that came out that the Manila Times published in Feb 1999.
WHAT EDSA? WHAT VICTIMS? -- Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
By Annie Ruth Sabangan and Dennis Carcamo
Manila Times Feb 23 1999
FOR the past two administrations, the Marcoses were accused of unsurpassed greed, of plunder, and of torture.
How times have changed. These days, the Marcoses are accusing their victims of being too greedy, even of being non-existent.
Ilocos Governor Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. yesterday declared that the 1986 EDSA revolt was "no revolution," but a mere "political power grab."
The statement came just a day after the country celebrated the 13th anniversary of the EDSA people power uprising that threw the Marcoses out of Malacañang.
At the same time, the younger Marcos brushed off claims for compensation by the 10,000 victims of human rights violation during the Marcos administration, saying "some" of the victims were merely motivated by "greed."
The younger Marcos even expressed doubts that there were really torture victims during his father's 21-year reign.
"Some of these people that are claiming they are human rights victims have never been victims of anything except their own greed," Marcos said in an interview with newsmen in his office at the Ilocos capitol.
The statement was the strongest made by a member of the Marcos family since they were driven out of power by the EDSA revolt. The Marcoses have taken on a higher profile since President Estrada took office last July. Estrada is a friend of the Marcoses.
Marcos also rejected all calls for an apology from the Marcoses, saying the human rights victims only wanted money, and not an apology.
"It boils down to money. They don't want an apology, they want money," Marcos said.
"And I think their true colors are showing because kung mayroong pag-asang magkapera, mag-aaway-away na rin sila," he added. [If there is a chance to get money, they will fight among themselves.]
He was referring to reports of a feud between Claimants 1081 and the Samahan ng Mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Para sa Amnestiya (SELDA). Both groups are composed of victims of human rights violations during the martial law years.
"We will apologize if we have done something wrong. We have not even seen that the so-called human rights claimants do actually exist," Marcos told newsmen.
In 1992, some 10,000 victims of human rights violation filed a class suit against the Marcoses and went on to win in the Hawaii District Court. The victims were awarded $2.2 billion in damages, although they have not yet been paid until now.
More recently, the Marcoses and the government have agreed in principle to set aside one-third of the $580-million Marcos bank accounts now held in escrow at the Philippine National Bank. The amount was formerly part of the Marcos secret bank accounts in Switzerland.
Marcos also belittled the 13th anniversary celebrations of the EDSA revolution last Monday, saying "there was no revolution."
Instead, he described the people power revolt that ousted his family from Malacañang as "a political power grab."
"There was no revolution. Revolution is a change in social order. Iyung mga cacique (landlords), cacique pa rin. Iyung mga mahirap, mahirap pa rin. I have always maintained that EDSA is more of a political power grab than an ideological struggle," he said.
In Tacloban City, bailiwick of Imelda Marcos, city officials did not celebrate the EDSA people power anniversary. Residents said this was the first time in 13 years that the city did not mark the event.
Mayor Alfredo T. Romualdez, younger brother of Imelda, was unavailable for comment.
But at the provincial capitol, Leyte Gov. Remedios Loreto-Petilla held an EDSA anniversary program "to remind the people that EDSA restored democracy in the country."
Former city mayor Uldarico E. Mate said Romualdez should have held an EDSA anniversary celebration regardless of his affiliations.
Human rights groups angrily challenged Marcos' statements on the victims of martial rule, saying the family was pretending to be blind to history.
Rep. Etta Rosales (Party-List, Sanlakas), a former political detainees and member of Claimants 1081, said Marcos needed a "reality check."
"It seems he is in a fantasy world," she said.
"How do you expect the son of a dictator who is like an isolated prince to know reality?" Rosales said.
Karapatan and SELDA executive director Marie Enriquez said, "To hear Bongbong saying this, and Imee, it is revolting and disgusting, the nerve, parang nalimutan na nila na pinaalis sila sa Pilipinas dahil doon sa ginawa nila." [It was as if they had forgotten that they were kicked out of thePhilippines because of what they did.]
"It's like a nightmare, iyung mga pinaalis nandiyan na ulit. This presidency coddled the thieves, the plunderers and human rights violators," she added.
Rep. Heherson Alvarez, another political detainee, branded Marcos "a historic ignoramus.
SELDA officials added that compensation was not the only demand of the human rights victims. The other demands include an apology, an admission of wrongdoing, and the prosecution of the Marcoses.
Santos Lamban of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) pointed out that the a US court had already awarded $2.2 billion to the 10,000 human rights victim. He said this only showed that the Marcoses were really guilty of human rights abuses.
Better under Erap
Marcos added that his family was receiving better treatment under President Estrada than under previous presidents. He even
raised the possibility that the Marcos issue will be put to rest within Estrada's term.
"The President has shown sincerity in his effort to resolve the issues surrounding the cases, the Swiss money, including the human rights claimants. I think there is a distinct possibility that in his term, these issues will be resolved and put to rest once and for all, and we as a family and we as a country can put all these things behind us," he said.
At the same time, Marcos loyalist Cherry Cobarrubias denounced the EDSA celebrations, saying the social and economic situation in the country only deteriorated after Marcos left.
In a statement to news agencies, Cobarrubias expressed longing for martial rule, saying it was one of the best things that Marcos did for the country.
"Lalong lalo na nang si Marcos ay nagdiklara ng Martial Law, iyan ang isang kahanga-hangang gawain ng isang lider na protektahin ang naghihingalong demokrasya ng bayan," she added. [Especially when Marcos declared Martial Law, that was the best thing a leader could do to protect an endangered democracy.]
--With a report from Inocencio Maderazo