MANILA, Philippines – Former President Fidel V. Ramos urged the widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to put closure on issues that the country still couldn't put to rest decades after his death.
Ramos wants Imelda Marcos, 87, to tell the truth about at least 2 isuses: the alleged hidden wealth of the Marcoses and the murder of his political nemesis, martyred Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
Imelda Marcos currently serves as the representative of the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte, where the family of the country's late dictator continues to rule through the years.
"I said this in public already. I said the former First Lady must be the one to speak for the family now because she knows more than any of the children. Number 1, where's the rest of the hidden wealth? Number 2, what happened in August 1983. Really, what happened? It was not [Rolando] Galman," Ramos told Rappler executive editor Maria Ressa in a Rappler Talk interview.
Rolando Galman was the other person killed on the tarmac when Aquino arrived in Manila after 3 years of exile. Galman was gunned down by an airport security personnel after he supposedly shot Aquino at close range. It was an account that has been widely contested. (READ: Look back: The Aquino assassination)
Meanwhile, the government has pending cases to recover the ill-gotten wealth of Marcos. (READ: What Bongbong Marcos knew of the Swiss deposits)
Ramos called on Imelda to speak when he was asked if he was surprised about the rise of Marcos' son and namesake, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, who made a good showing in the May 2016 vice presidential election. However, Marcos Jr lost by a slim margin to now Vice President Leni Robredo, based on the official tally.
He said he has "nothing against" Bongbong. It is Imelda who should speak out because "she knows more than any of the children."
"In his own way he's good. Persuasive. I know him. I have nothing against him. I've nothing against the children," he said about the former senator.
Ramos, the chief of Philippine Constabulary that implemented martial law, was a key personality in the People Power revolution that ousted Marcos in 1986. (READ: Key players in the 1986 People Power revolution)
A cousin of the late strongman, he said the elder Marcos served well during the initial years of his term. But he said withdrew support from government and backed the rebel soldiers because he couldn't stomach the corruption in government anymore.
"Why did I go against this guy? Well it's because of, again, what is in the constitution? [It was the] 1935 [Constitution] at that time. 1987 na (now). You obey the orders of your superiors, your commanding officer if they have legal orders. But when he started to stray during the Martial Law years, you know," Ramos said.
"What was the term? 'Mining.' Hey, you're nice? Mine, mine, mine. 'Mining' was the term. Of course that went against my basic values and so with so many others. So, we all agreed. We just have to stop this thing. Patay kung patay (Even if it will cost us our lives). Even at the sacrifice of life, family, future, fortune. It was not only me that was involved. But my own family, my extended family. They're also at risk," he said.
Ramos then became defense secretary during the Cory Aquino administration. He ran for president in 1992 and won. – Rappler.com