• Marcos chides historians, dad’s critics

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    BALIUAG, Bulacan: Vice presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday challenged historians, including professors of the University of the Philippines, to cite any “lie” he said regarding the 20-year rule of his namesake and former president.

    “What is deceitful, what have I said which was not true? I am not trying to deceive anybody, to lie… to change history,” the senator from Ilocos Norte told a news conference here.

    Marcos, who also brought his Unity Caravan on Thursday to the towns of Pulilan, Calumpit, Malolos, Plaridel, Pandi and Norzagaray, has been accused of wrongly claiming that the rule of his father was the “golden age” of the Philippines.

    “Why only now raise this issue? Because it is campaign period. It is but natural that others will criticize me. That’s the nature of politics. In a way, it is good because I will have the chance to explain,” he said.

    Several individuals, including President Benigno Aquino 3rd, have been hitting Marcos, to the point of saying that the senator has “no chance of winning” in the May 9 elections.

    Marcos has been criticizing the Aquino administration for its failure to capitalize on available resources to build needed infrastructure such as roads and bridges, including programs geared toward delivery of basic services aside from providing jobs and livelihood to the poorest of the poor.

    “There is no agricultural policy. There is no system. We have been left behind by our neighbors. Before, agriculture’s share to gross national product was 30 percent. Today it is down to 11 percent. And 70 percent of the poor farmers. We need to revive our agriculture,” he told reporters covering his sortie who inquired on his plans to help the farmers of Bulacan.

    Marcos was asked also about the comics depicting his biography where there is a portion he was described to have been bullied.

    “I am aware of that comics. Everything there is true. I am not asking the people to pity me. I am perhaps the happiest person in the world because of my roots. Many are caring [about]and loving me. We don’t claim to be victims of anybody. However, there was a time, during our stay in Hawaii, that we experienced injustice,” he said.

    The Marcoses were airlifted to Hawaii at the height of the 1986 Edsa people power revolt that ended the reign of his father and catapulted then widow Corazon “Cory” Aquino to Malacañang.

    Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. , husband of Cory and father of the incumbent President, was murdered in 1982.

    Ninoy was then the No.1 critic of then Marcos.

    When asked to react on President Aquino’s tirades, the younger Marcos said he respects the opinion of the country’s leader.

    Contrary to Aquino’s perception, the senator said he has been gettingwarm welcome from the people wherever he goes.

    “People recognize my work as legislator. There are very happy because I championed the welfare of the youth being the author of a law that established the National Youth Commission. I have laws that will give pension to barangay [village]officials,” Marcos noted.

    Meanwhile, he again expressed his dismay with moves of the Aquino administration to derail his campaign sorties.

    “They are preventing local officials from supporting my campaign. They [officials]are being coerced and threatened. They are holding activities during my sorties. This is alarming because they are using government resources to demean my campaign,” Marcos said.

    JAIME R. PILAPIL

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