By Jefferson Antiporda | The Manila Times
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said whoever succeeds President Benigno Aquino 3rd in 2016 should focus on programs, progress, reforms, and unity, not the unmerited punishment of political opponents.
“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 in a radio interview on Friday.
“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 said, adding the next president should unite Filipinos to work together.
If Pres. Aquino had indeed violated laws, the next administration should charge him with ordinary criminal cases after his term, Marcos said.
Political observers have predicted Aquino might be charged for creating the Disbursement Acceleration Plan (DAP) with a presidential decree in order to siphon funds from the savings of line agencies in 2011.
DAP funds were allotted to congressmen and senators in late 2012, months after the two houses of Congress impeached former Chief Justice Renato Corona in mid 2012. The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that the creation of the DAP was unconstitutional.
The president also shares responsibility in ordering a suspended police chief to lead a mission to get a Malaysian terrorist in Maguindanao, southern Philippines, leading to the massacre of 44 elite police troops in late January.
When Vice President Jejomar Binay – a presidential candidate in 2016 – resigned from two cabinet posts last Wednesday, he accused the Aquino administration of “selective justice” in being singled out for corruption charges in the Senate .
Opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., were detained on alleged misuse of their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) in 2014, but Aquino’s allies in the ruling Liberal Party – they were allegedly involved in misuse of development funds – were not yet charged.
When President assumed office in 2010, he sent former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to jail.
The Aquino administration also pushed for the impeachment of Corona, an Arroyo appointee, who led the Supreme Court to rule in 2012 that the 6,000 hectare Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita should be distributed to sugar farmers.
Former President Joseph Estrada was sent to jail on charges of plunder after his ouster in 2001 by a military-back protest rallies of those who were disappointed by the abrupt ending of his impeachment in the senate in 2000. Arroyo finished his three remaining term from 2001 to 2004.