INDEPENDENT candidate for Vice President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. sees no point demanding an apology from President Benigno Aquino 3rd for supposed human rights abuses committed during the term of his mother–the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino–noting that what government officials must focus on is finding ways on how they can move the country forward.
Instead of dwelling on the past, according to Marcos, all those in government as well as those outside should start thinking of how to address problems faced by the country, adding that expressing regret is least of Aquino’s concerns.
“Well that [apology]would be a futile attempt. Again, I think it is for all of us, the President all the way down to barangay tanod [village watchmen], to start thinking very hard about how we can move the country forward,” he said in an interview after the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) seminar on Thursday night.
Aquino earlier insisted that the Marcoses should apologize to Filipinos for what happened during martial law.
Marcos also earlier voiced willing to express regret to anyone whom he caused harm to but right now he sees no reason to apologize.
“We have constantly said that if during the time of my father [former President Ferdinand Marcos], [there were those whom we wronged or whom we did not give help to]or they were victimized in some way or another, of course we’re sorry that that happened. Nobody wants that to happen,” he said.
Marcos, however, expressed no intention to demand the same from Aquino for the supposed abuses that were committed during the term of his mother, including those committed against farmers and other agricultural workers in the January 22, 1987 “Mendiola Massacre.”
Thirteen were killed and 74 others were wounded during the incident.
Around 20,000 protesters had assembled near Mendiola Bridge in Manila, seeking a dialogue with Mrs. Aquino, when government forces opened fire at them.
Cases filed against government troops believed involved in the massacre were all dismissed.
If elected Vice President, Marcos said, he will work on putting an end to the disunity and polarization brought by the adversarial form of governance by the previous and the current administrations.
He noted that instead of promoting unity, the Aquino administration brought division and unending politicking.
Marcos said he will even oppose any government-led move to file charges against Aquino and his officials once they step down next year. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA