The next President should not make it a government policy to jail political opponents, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said in a radio interview.
Sen. Bongbong said such policy, adopted in the past and present administrations, is counterproductive and divides Filipinos.
“We should do away with what we have been seeing in the past few years when recent administrations adopted a deliberate campaign of vengeance against their political foes, practically making it a national policy,” Sen. Bongbong said.
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo sent her predecessor Pres. Joseph Estrada to jail on charges of plunder. Arroyo met the same fate under the Aquino administration.
The Aquino administration had also actively sought the impeachment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is an appointee of Arroyo.
Recently, opposition senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon Revilla, Jr. were jailed on allegations of corruption.
For his part, Vice President Jejomar Binay accused the Aquino administration of implementing “selective justice”—going after political foes while allowing allies in the Liberal Party to go unpunished— in his initial salvo against Malacañang on Wednesday after resigning from the Aquino Cabinet.
Binay, who has announced his intention to run for President in the 2016 elections, is likewise being hounded by charges of corruption, which he claims to be politically-motivated and orchestrated by allies of the Aquino administration.
Many political observers believe Pres. Aquino may suffer the same fate as Arroyo and Estrada after the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program, which funneled billions of public funds into various projects.
If Pres. Aquino had indeed violated the laws, then he should face charges that may be filed against him after his term, according to Sen. Bongbong.
However, the Senator said the next administration should not have a direct hand in the filing of such charges and should treat them as any ordinary criminal case.
“We should leave that culture of vengeance behind us. What the next President should strive is to unite the country so that every Filipino could work together for the good of our country---not for personal gain, not for the benefit of a party, but for the benefit of the entire nation,” Sen. Bongbong stressed.
“The top priority of the next President is not to go after political opponents and play politics. His priority should be how to push the development of our country, how to improve the lives of our people, how to grow the economy,” he added.