SEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos thanked former crusaders against martial law who had expressed support for his campaign and said that he remains hopeful that more people will judge him for his merits as a public servant when deciding who to vote for on election day.
“I have heard that they (former anti-Marcos activists) came out to express their support for me despite the barrage of negative criticisms that are being thrown my way throughout this campaign trail. I appreciate their words and their confidence in my capabilities,” he said.
In a forum on Saturday, Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, born-again Bishop Butch Belgica, labor leader Terry Tuazon, and Cocofed Chairman Efren Villaseñor appealed to the public to move on from issues of the past and focus on the future of the country as they highlighted the senator’s credentials to hold the second highest position in the land.
Abalos, whose family has always been identified with former President Corazon Aquino and who joined the People Power Revolution in 1986, appealed for objectivity and said that voters should filter out what they hear about the Marcoses. He added that if justice has not been served in the thirty years since the Marcoses left Malacañang, then it is the government which is at fault and not the family, since they have been answering the charges against them in the courts of law as any accused should do.
Despite his negative experience during the martial law, when he was jailed several times because of being a unionist, Tuazon, for his part, said that former President Marcos, compared to the country’s next five presidents, established the most number of pro-labor and pro-workers legislation during his time.
He said that he felt Marcos’ similar priority when he stated during the recent vice presidential debate that he wanted to handle the Labor Department to address workers’ concerns. He expressed faith that the senator will be able to continue his father’s legacy when it comes to the labor front.
Villaseñor noted that it was Marcos who backed their position to have a say over how the coco levy fund is to be used to ensure that it will benefit coconut farmers throughout the country, something the government has failed to do since the Supreme Court decision declaring that the fund is “owned by the government to be used only for the benefit of all coconut farmers and for the development of the coconut industry.”