Cebu City: Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Friday told his detractors he is not bothered by their tirades because the one they are trying to put down is his father—the former President who is his namesake.
“What they are doing is assassinating my father’s character. Nothing that they seem to be saying concerns me; it has more to do with my father,” the independent vice presidential aspirant told reporters here on the sidelines of his four-day sortie of the province.
Asked if the attacks against him are working, Marcos said: “Let’s hope not.”
No less than President Benigno Aquino 3rd has been on the offensive against the Marcoses’ return to power, particularly the vice presidency, which is just a breath away to the top post of the Republic.
The Administration vice presidential candidate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, has also joined the critics who have demanded that the young Marcos publicly apologize for the killings and tortures committed by the former strongman.
The fruit does not fall far from the tree, Robredo remarked, reiterating that the young Marcos was not a minor when Martial Law happened. His name was also there in the cases concerning the Marcoses’ loot, she said.
Senator Marcos, however, stressed that he is different from his father in many ways.
“Everybody can change. But we can only change if there is recognition that we committed wrongs in the past. That is the point here: to recognize that atrocities happened, because such recognition is an assurance that it won’t happen again” Robredo added.
Marcos has repeatedly said he has nothing to apologize for in as far as Martial Law excesses are concerned. As for the return of the so-called ill-gotten wealth now allegedly in billions of pesos, he said the claims are currently in the hands of the government and that they have no control over the court process.
Some individuals and groups have also strongly opposed the wish of the Marcos family that the former president be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
The young Marcos said his father has the right to be buried at the national heroes cemetery for being a bemedalled World War II soldier and for the fact that he served the country as President for 20 years.
The vice presidential candidate on Friday expressed hope that Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, his presidential running mate but under her People’s Reform Party, would be able to join him in the campaign soon but maintained that her health should come first.
“We had planned to be together during the campaign. That was always the original plan. But I suppose her health issues have overtaken her and she has just to attend to that. And I think that she would be able to overcome this new obstacle and she will be joining us in the campaign soon enough,” Marcos said.
Santiago, in a statement, had announced that she will skip the scheduled second presidential debate on Sunday at the University of the Philippines, Cebu campus because she “accepted as fit to undergo a clinical trial for a new, unnamed anti-cancer pill.”
“I am very sorry to miss out on the debates, but it would be a disservice to the country if I forego the opportunity to get rid of my cancer completely and strengthen myself further to serve the Filipino people,” the senator said.