The only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos running for president in 2022 is the "biggest joke of all," an activist seeking the vice presidency said Thursday, adding voters should not allow his family to "rape the country" a second time.
The resurgence of the Marcoses, with Ferdinand Jr or Bongbong at the helm, has become one of the talking points of the 2022 elections, as critics said the family has neither returned nor apologized for their $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth. The strongman's eldest, Sen. Imee Marcos, said the issue was so "one million years ago".
"Especially the biggest joke of all is si Marcos. This is a family that has raped the country, it has not apologized to the country. And it now wants to rape the country again. F*ck you, Marcos!," said Walden Bello who is the running mate of labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman.
Bello, a former Akbayan party-list representative, said he agreed to be De Guzman's vice president to fight what they call the "axis of evil" of both the Marcoses and the Dutertes.
An hour after the interview on ANC's After the Fact, Bello on Twitter said he did not regret using the f-word on primetime television.
Bello said Marcos Jr. is using stolen taxpayers' money to paint his family's regime as the Philippines' "golden years", when it was actually an administration marred by massive government corruption and human rights violations.
"This guy is running on funds that were extracted violently from the Filipino people. How can we allow that? This guy is going to use again this wealth in order to further his family’s dynastic interest," Bello said.
"He's trying to use social media and mga trolls niya, he has hundreds of trolls, to say golden years raw 'yun. Those were the worst years for our economy, the worst politically. Andaming namatay diyan, andaming pinatay diyan," he added.
Based on government estimates, Marcos Sr. stole up to $10 billion from the Filipino people, earning him a 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.
"The country is not finished with them. They think maybe they're riding high because they're confusing people at this point in time but as they say, every dog will have his day. The Marcos dogs will definitely have their day in terms of being accountable to the Filipino people," he added.
Other presidential aspirants were not spared from Bello's tirades. "Papogi-pogi lang 'yan, okay?," he said of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
As co-chair of the House committee on overseas workers’ affairs with then-congressman Manny Pacquiao, Bello criticized the boxer-turned-politician's attendance in Congress.
“Alam mo si Manny Pacquiao, Christian, co-chair ko 'yan sa overseas workers affairs committee sa Congress. For five years, sumipot lang 'yan sa isang meeting, okay? At hindi niya alam kung ano’ng gagawin niya," he told host Ian Esguerra.
Pacquiao was hailed top absentee among lawmakers of the 16th Congress in 2016, before he moved to the Senate. "I gave him instructions on what to do doon sa meeting itself. Can you trust a guy who doesn’t show up for work for five years? Iniwan sa akin 'yung trabaho,” Bello added.
He also questionned Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson's supposed shift in stance towards President Rodrigo Duterte.
“And of course, si Ping Lacson. Sabi na raw niya, opposition ngayon. Eh, he was the top agent sa Senate ni President Duterte doon sa Anti-Terrorism Act. Opposition ba ‘yan?" he said.