LAOAG, Philippines – Should the son be disassociated from the sins of the father?
Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential bet Leni Robredo thinks that shouldn't be the case when it comes to Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, son of the late dictator.
"Parang mahirap yun i-accept (I find that hard to accept)," Robredo said in an interview with reporters on the sidelines of a visit to Northwestern University on Friday, March 18.
Robredo was asked about sentiments that the senator, who is running for vice president, should not be blamed for the faults of martial law because he is different from the late strongman.
The older Marcos ruled the Philippines for more than two decades after placing the country under martial law – considered to be the darkest in the country, rife with human rights violations, enforced disappearances, and bad economic policies.
Robredo explained her position on the younger Marcos: "Two things: Yung number one, alam naman natin na very active [siya]. Hindi naman siya minor noong nangyari iyon. In fact, maraming datos na makikita, marami yung visuals na makikita na very active siya."
(Number one, we all know he was very active. He wasn't a minor when martial law happened. The data, visuals from that time show he was very active.)
"Doon sa transfer ng Marcos loot, lumalabas yung pangalan niya. Parang mahirap naman sabihin na, mahirap mag-wash hands dahil sasabihin mo: tatay ko iyon, wala akong ka-alam alam doon," she added, referring to the millions the Marcoses stole from Philippine coffers during their reign.
(When it comes to the transfer of the Marcos loot, his came out. It's hard to wash your hands and just say: that was my father, I knew nothing about that.)
Even if the younger Marcos knew nothing about the atrocities, said Robredo, the least her rival for the vice presidency could do is "recognize that something wrong happened."
The younger Marcos, born in 1957, has insisted that he has nothing to apologize for, despite calls of groups affected by martial law. (READ: Marcos on dad's regime: What am I to apologize for?)
Robredo trails Marcos and survey frontrunner Senator Francis Escudero in opinion polls, but has been the biggest gainer in the latest surveys.
During a forum in the same university, Robredo said hers wasn't an "anti-Marcos" stance but one against martial law. (READ: In Ilocos, Robredo asked: Why are you proud to be anti-Marcos?)
Thirty years since the ouster of the older Marcos, there is a growing sentiment that the martial law years were the best in the country because of the boom in infrastructure during those two decades – contrary to the facts and figures presented by academics and experts. (READ: Marcos years marked 'golden age of PH economy? Look at data)
Robredo has been the most vocal among vice presidential candidates on the horrors of martial law.
She spent the entire Friday going around the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, attending gatherings with women and meeting local officials.
Robredo said she hopes to make a "dent" in the Ilocos provinces, bailiwicks of the Marcoses.
Senator Marcos' sister is the sitting governor of Ilocos Norte while his mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, represents the second district of the same province. – Rappler.com