‘Zero vote:’ Youth groups slam Imee Marcos’ dishonesty
MANILA, Philippines – “Ang zero vote kay Imee ay hero vote para sa ating bayan (Zero votes for Imee is a hero vote for our country).”
This was the call of youth leaders during a unity declaration event on Monday, May 6, in Quezon City urging Filipinos not to vote for senatorial candidate Imee Marcos.
The call came after Marcos was exposed as “a candidate of questionable integrity and blatant dishonesty, and one unworthy of a seat in the Senate.”
As the daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and as a member of a family who was accused of massive corruption and human rights abuses, the groups said that electing her would be an insult to the history of the Philippines. (READ: Martial Law, the dark chapter in Philippine history)
Saying that “some things, like dishonesty, just never change,” Lorenzo Relente of the University of the Philippines (UP) Alyansa slammed Marcos’ denial of her family’s crimes and the falsification of her credentials.
Last August 21, 2018, while the country commemorated Ninoy Aquino’s assasination, Marcos told Filipinos who continue criticizing her family to move on from Martial Law.
Meanwhile, in January 2019, questions regarding her educational background were raised as a school official at Princeton University negated Marcos’ claim that she finished a degree in “religion and politics.”
Her other claims as stated in her curriculum vitae posted during her time at the House of Representatives such as being a cum laude graduate at the UP College of Law; valedictorian at the Santa Catalina School in California; and a Management and Business Administration MA holder from the Asian Institute of Management, were debunked by the respective schools’ officials.
“Bakit pa tayo magtitiwala sa isang taong hindi kapani-paniwala, na nagsisinungaling mula sa kayamanan hanggang sa sariling achievements,” Joshua Dy of Akbayan Youth asked. (Why would we trust someone who lies, from her wealth to her achievements?)
Aside from her “false” educational track, the groups also blasted Marcos’ dishonesty on her wealth and on some government projects in Ilocos Norte.
According to Dy, Marcos has her own way of lying and stealing, and that she continuously grows her wealth through illegal means.
In an investigation made by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Marcos was said to be a beneficiary of the secret offshore trust Sintra.
Meanwhile, Erica Navelgas of Youth for Sin Tax disagreed with Imee’s campaign slogan that she is “the solution.”
In 2017, a copy of a Provincial Appropriation Ordinance No. 022-2011 showed that Ilocos Norte’s share of the tobacco excise tax was used to fund the pet projects of Marcos.
Navelga said that if used properly, the fund could have benefitted the tobacco farmers through various programs.
Zero votes for anti-people policies
Should Marcos win a Senate seat, according to the groups, she will just be an additional burden to Filipinos as she will be an instrument in realizing the Duterte administration’s anti-people policies.
“Ang panawagan ay hindi lang zero votes para kay Imee kundi zero votes para sa adhikain ng administrasyon na anti-people at anti-mahihirap,” they said. (What we're asking is not only for zero votes for Imee, but for zero votes for the anti-people policies of the government.)
The groups then called on their fellow voters to exert an effort in order to reach other electorates and educate them about characteristics that candidates must possess such as “transparency, accountability, and excellence.”
“Ikakampanya din namin si Imee Marcos, ngunit hindi ang kanyang pagkapanalo, kundi ang kanyang pagkatalo sa pamamagitan ng pagsisiwalat sa mga kalapastanganan ng mga Marcoses at pag educate sa mga voters,” said Gherard Tapado of Speak, an organization of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. (We will campaign for the defeat of Marcos by exposing her family's abuses, and by educating voters.) – with reports from Josiah Antonio/Rappler.com