By Marvin Sy | Philstar
MANILA, Philippines - A potential candidate for president in the 2016 elections said yesterday that the country’s next leader should end the streak of vindictiveness and start focusing on development and the improvement of the lives of Filipinos.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. lamented that the country has been made to go through two administrations where its leaders were more focused on seeking vengeance against their political enemies than the welfare of the people.
Marcos said this has been counterproductive and has done nothing but cause division among 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,” Marcos said.
He cited the case of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who sent her predecessor Joseph Estrada to jail on charges of plunder.
When she finished her term, Arroyo was given the same treatment by President Aquino and is still held under hospital arrest.
The Aquino administration also caused the impeachment of former Supreme Court chief justice Renato Corona, who was appointed by Arroyo.
This was followed by the detention of Sens. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
More recently, Vice President Jejomar Binay has accused the administration of political persecution when it went after him with charges of plunder and corruption on matters that took place when he was still mayor of Makati City.
Binay announced early on that he is running for president in the 2016 elections and until early this month, had been leading the surveys on voter preferences.
Marcos, who is said to also be eyeing the presidency in next year’s elections, is said to have also experienced such vindictiveness when his family’s appeal for a hero’s burial for their patriarch, former President Ferdinand Marcos, was denied.
Once President Aquino steps down next year, it is expected that several cases would be filed against him, particularly in relation to the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Marcos said that the President should face whatever charges are lodged against him after his term but the next administration should keep its hands off the effort and treat the cases like any other.
“We should leave that culture of vengeance behind us. What the next president should strive to do 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,” Marcos said.
“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.