By Paterno Esmaquel II | GMA News
After being dared to apologize for the human rights violations during his father’s watch, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong" Marcos Jr. over the weekend turned the table on the Aquino administration.
In a Facebook post that continues to spur an online debate Sunday, Marcos was addressing Lacierda’s challenge to their family to apologize first to human rights victims during the martial law years before the government could consider granting the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos a state burial.
“I believe [Lacierda] has asked us or those in the Marcos government that are still alive (it’s not clear) to apologize to the human rights victims under martial law, but I didn't hear anyone include the human rights victims during [Corazon Aquino's administration], including the farmers of the infamous Mendiola massacre and all the succeeding administrations including the present one," Sen. Marcos said.
“[Lacierda] seems to play favoritism towards those victims during martial law but does not seem to care much in apologies and compensation for the victims during Cory's time. That's not fair to them. They should be treated the same way; and who should apologize to them?" he added.
President Benigno Aquino III's mother, Corazon, was catapulted to the presidency by the 1986 people power uprising that toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
To drive his point further, the young Marcos brought up other human rights violations in Philippine history.
Marcos said, “What about the Japanese collaborators that fought on the side of the ruthless Imperial Army that cruelly tortured, sadistically inflicted pain, and mercilessly killed Filipinos? Has anybody apologized to the families of those that lost their lives, were raped, tortured, etc. by the Japanese with the aid of Filipino collaborators?"
“Can Mr. Lacierda give suggestions on who should apologize and compensate them? Anyway, the President wields the power and is obviously not inclined to unify the country," he said.
In a text message to GMA News Online, Lacierda said he has not read Marcos' open letter on Facebook. The spokesperson added, "The onus is on them."
‘Holier than thou’
Marcos, however, said he chooses not to engage in a “blame game" and instead is taking “a forward-looking approach in tackling present problems."
“No wasting time convincing others how ‘good we are compared to the rest,’ pontificating, moralizing, full of pomposity and of themselves, unable to get down from their high horses – in short, the proverbial ‘holier than thou’ hypocrites," he explained.
Marcos’ Facebook fans gave mixed reactions to the senator’s post, as well as to a succeeding open letter to Lacierda posted by his Facebook administrators.
“Precisely my point, Sir!" said Facebook user Leonardo V. Cervantes. “Hacienda Luisita, Mendiola farmers’ massacre are all recorded and documented. That, they can’t deny. I, too, want them to apologize, make amends with the victims’ families. But have they?"
Another Facebook user, Axel Exconde, criticized Marcos for his statements.
“Sus naman, Bongbong, inaaway mo si Noynoy, pero inagrabyado talaga ng tatay at nanay mo ang taong bayan. Magpakulong muna kayo kasama nanay mo, tapos sige isunod natin si Noynoy kung talagang may kasalanan din ang nanay niya," he said.
Meanwhile, Malacañang on Saturday reiterated President Benigno Aquino III’s decision against the burial of the late President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in a message to reservists.
Aquino has called the proposed state burial of the late President Marcos an “injustice" to martial law victims.