By Macon Ramos Araneta | Manila Standard Today
The target of an administration campaign to stamp out his resurgent bid for the vice presidency, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Friday the country’s leaders should strive to find solutions to problems besetting the country and let historians make an objective assessment of his father’s Martial Law regime.
“We need to respond to our people,” said Marcos in a press briefing in Balungao town in Pangasinan. “They’ve asked for help on… the problems they are facing and that is what we should be doing.”
The remark came as reporters pressed him to comment on President Beningo Aquino III’s call for voters to oppose his vice presidential bid, saying that people should learn from the lessons of the past.
“Let us leave history to our professors, those who studied the history of the Philippines. That’s not our job. Our job is to look at the needs of our people,” he said.
Marcos said today’s situation is vastly different from the situation three decades ago and so current problems require solutions different from what were done in the past.
In reply to a question, he said he did not want to see another declaration of martial law.
“Oh, God no. Because if there’s martial law, that would mean we are in crisis,” he said in Filipino. “We don’t want to see the Philippines in crisis.”
Marcos said he was thankful that President Aquino’s campaign against him did not seem to affect his campaign so far.
A crowd of over 3,000 at the covered auditorium of the municipality of Umingan welcomed Marcos, who was guest speaker at the multi-sectoral forum held there earlier in the day.
“We have not felt that. The support, the welcome of the people remained warm. It has not changed. so we are thankful,” he said.
The Palace on Friday denied there was politics involved in the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution on Thursday.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Aquino’s speech, particularly his attacks on Marcos and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, as well as Martial Law implemented by former President Ferdinand Marcos, were based on “the truth.”
“Every time he delivers a speech, President Aquino expresses the truth. That is the basis of the trust of his bosses,” Coloma said.
The administration marked the 30th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution Thursday but largely ignored the roles played by key figures in the uprising three decades ago.
The President’s speech denounced Martial Law and the Marcos family—including Senator Marcos.
In an “Experiential Museum” set up in Camp Aguinaldo to mark the event, not a word was said about former President Fidel V. Ramos, at the time the vice chief of staff of the Armed Forces; or Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who was then defense minister, to document how the two broke away from the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
Together, the two provided the armed might in the civilian-backed military revolt of 1986 that ignited People Power, but they appeared only in photos at the museum, with no captions to identify them.
Ramos did attend the “Salubungan” reenactment at Edsa, however, along with ranking military and police personnel shortly after a mass at the Edsa monument.
For ceremonies marking the event, no invitations were sent to Vice President Jejomar Binay, then a human rights lawyer, or Senator Gregorio Honasan, a colonel at the time who joined Ramos and Enrile in the military revolt. The two are running for president and vice president, respectively, under the opposition United Nationalist Alliance banner.
“I don’t know why Ramos and Enrile’s role were not given prominence. Instead, the exhibit only capsulized the bad things and memories of the late President Ferdinand Marcos during the dark days of Martial Law,” said one visitor who asked not to be named.
Binay, an opposition candidate running for president, challenged President Benigno Aquino III and the ruling Liberal Party to stop distorting the truth by revising history.