MANILA, Philippines – On the 36th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, the tandem of Manny Pacquiao and Lito Atienza asked Filipinos to vote for a leader who will not steal amid the threat of another Marcos taking Malacañang.
On Friday, February 25, Pacquiao said that dictator Ferdinand Marcos was removed from office 36 years ago because of corruption, but noted that corruption is rampant until now.
“Sugpuin natin ’yang corruption. Magkaroon tayo ng tunay na pagbabago at malalaman natin ano ba ’yung rebolusyon – rebolusyon para guminhawa ang bawat Pilipino. ’Yun po ang kailangan natin, hindi ’yung rebolusyon para maglagay ng another na leader na mangungurap, mangurakot, magnakaw,” Pacquiao said.
(Let us fight corruption. We should have genuine change and know what a real revolution is – a revolution for a more comfortable life for Filipinos. That’s what we need, not a revolution that puts another leader that is corrupt, who will plunder and steal money.)
Over the past months, the deposed dictator’s son and namesake Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has sustained his lead in election polls.
In past interviews, Pacquiao has not openly attacked the Marcoses. But whenever he was asked about the ill-gotten wealth of the dictator’s family, he would go back to his anti-corruption platform that vows to chase after corrupt politicians.
In a separate video statement on Friday, Atienza, who was fresh out of surgery, asked Filipinos to choose a leader who fears God, respects the power of the people, does not lie, and does not steal.
“‘Pag kinalimutan ’nyo ang EDSA [Revolution], hindi kayo tunay na Pilipino. ’Yan ang hamon sa atin ngayon ng panahon,” he said.
(If you forget EDSA Revolution, you are not a real Filipino. That is the challenge that we are facing nowadays.)
Atienza reminded the public that if not for the Marcoses, Filipinos would have led a more comfortable life.
“Nakalimutan na natin ’yung mga nakaraang mga uhaw sa kapangyarihan, nagsamantala sa taumbayan. Pinaghirap ang Pilipinas na dapat ay mayaman ang bawat Pilipino ngayon sapagkat ang likas na yaman ay nasa atin,” said Atienza, who was still in his hospital bed when he recorded his message.
(We forgot the times when power-hungry individuals took advantage of our countrymen. They stole from the Philippines – wherein every Filipino should have led a more comfortable life because of our natural resources.)
Atienza also took a swipe at Marcos Jr. without directly naming him. The deputy speaker is a vocal critic of the Marcoses ever since, having been jailed during the Martial Law era.
He also served as the general manager of the National Housing Authority during the administration of the late president Corazon Aquino.
“‘Wag kalimutan, pati ama ’nya, halos itakwil siya na walang kwentang anak, walang kwentang bata. Pili tayo ng talagang pagkakatiwalaan sa kapangyarihan at hindi tayo pagsasamantalahan,” said Atienza.
(Don’t forget, that even his father, almost disowned him for being a useless son, a useless child. Let us choose someone who we can trust while in power and someone who will not take advantage of us.)
Atienza appeared to be citing dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ diary, where he wrote about Marcos Jr.’s being their “principal worry,” as he was “too carefree and lazy.”
Marcos supporters have downplayed the human rights atrocities and rampant plunder during the Martial Law era. Misinformation about the dictator’s rule has flooded social media, with false content that seeks to rehabilitate the image of the Marcoses. – Rappler.com
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