Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. was not an innocent bystander during his father's dictatorship, and his candidacy for president is like "spitting on the graves of the dead" from martial law, survivors of their family's rule said Tuesday.
The attempt of the only son and namesake of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to reclaim Malacañang "is a brazen show of disregard and contempt" for thousands of Martial Law victims, as well as the nation at large, said former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo, a convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA).
"[He] is not an innocent bystander during the Marcos dictatorship, directly benefiting while holding positions in crony corporations," CARMMA said, noting how Bongbong has never apologized to the victims of Martial Law.
The group composed of surviving Martial Law victims and their sympathizers has campaigned against the return of the Marcoses to political power since 2016, when Bongbong lost to Vice President Leni Robredo.
"Today’s announcement of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his presidential bid in the May 2022 elections is a brazen show of disregard and contempt for the the thousands of Filipinos killed, disappeared, tortured, displaced and violated, and the Filipino nation whose economy was plundered and wrecked during the Marcos dictatorship," CARMMA's statement penned by Taguiwalo read.
"Bongbong Marcos and his family has long been seeking to reclaim the highest seat of power after they were kicked out of the country by the people - and today, their shameless gall to return to the highest office in government is in full display," it added.
According to the group, "BBM is spitting on the graves of the dead and on the faces of the victims of the Marcos dictatorship", as "not a trace of remorse, nor any worthwhile compensation has been given by the Marcos family for the billions worth of treasure and gold that they plundered from the Philippine economy."
This, despite last week's Sandiganbayan ruling for the family to return P100 million worth of ill-gotten wealth, deposited by former Traders Royal Bank, CARMMA added, noting this was "but a small showcase of the largesse and greed of the Marcoses."
"His bid will be undoubtedly funded through the plundered funds from the nation’s coffers from the time of his father’s dictatorship," it said.
Based on government estimates, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. stole up to $10 billion from the Filipino people, earning him Guinness World Record for the “greatest robbery of a government.”
From 1975 to 1985, there were 3,257 known extrajudicial killings (77% were summarily executed), 77,000 political prisoners, 35,000 torture victims, and over 700 'disappeared', according to human rights monitoring groups led by Amnesty International.
Until 2025, 39 years since his ouster, Filipino taxpayers will pay for the foreign debts of Marcos which stood at $926.72 million or more than P48 billion, according to Ibon Foundation.
In 1975, three years after Martial Law was imposed, the dictator's only son was 18 years old. Upon their family's ousting via People Power in 1986, he was 28.
Bongbong has been "dismissing them as merely seeking monetary compensation and washing his hands of any involvement in the military rule that allowed the Marcos family to run roughshod over the Filipino people with abandon, completes Bongbong's self-centered image and blind focus on restoring the stature of the Marcos family to their former glory," it said.
"CARMMA remains steadfast in its commitment to frustrate the efforts of the Marcoses to return to power. We join hands with the rest of the Filipino people in declaring #NeverAgain and #NoDuterteMarcos2022," the statement's ending read.