Philippine dictator son’s presidential run triggers protests

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The son and namesake of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was toppled in a 1986 pro-democracy rebellion, filed his candidacy for next year’s presidential elections on Wednesday, sparked by activists who recalled widespread human rights atrocities , which marked the martial law era. under his late father.

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Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. filed his papers with the Election Commission, then shook hands at dozens of supporters chanting his name. The 64-year-old announced his candidacy on Tuesday, vowing to unite the Philippines to overcome challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. But more than three decades after the dictator’s fall, the issues surrounding Marcos continue to stir political divisions.

More than 100 anti-Marcos activists vowed to campaign against Marcos Jr. and burned effigies of his father and Marcos’ aide Rodrigo Duterte in protest against the Human Rights Commission. He waved placards that read “Never Again” and recalled the massive rights violations that took place after Marcos placed the Philippines under martial rule from 1972 to 1981.


“It’s like deja vu,” said protest leader Tinay Palabe. “It is a slap in the face to the victims of widespread torture, rape and disappearances. Some families are still searching for missing martial law victims.”

Palabe said a coalition of left-wing and human rights groups would organize more street and online protests against Marcos Jr.’s candidacy and ask the Supreme Court to uphold the corruption sentence of his mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, and ask other candidates. will inspire. Not keeping pace with him.

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Marcos was ousted in a 1986 army-backed “manpower” rebellion and died three years later in exile in Hawaii without admitting any wrongdoing, alleging that he and his family had failed to stay in power. earned an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion during the year.

Marcos placed the Philippines under martial rule on September 21, 1972, a year before his term ended. He shut down Congress, ordered the arrest of political opponents and ruled by decree.

A Hawaii court found Marcos liable for human rights violations and awarded $2 billion from his assets to compensate more than 9,000 Filipinos who sued him for torture, imprisonment, additional murders and disappearances Was.

Imelda Marcos and her children were allowed to return to the Philippines in 1991, and have since made a political comeback, winning seats in Congress and powerful provincial positions to prepare the ground for a return to the presidential palace she thought was top job evasion. has occurred. from them.

Marcos Jr. is the latest to join the race to succeed Duterte, who himself has been in the crosshairs of human rights groups for his brutal crackdown on illegal drugs that has killed thousands of suspects. Former National Police Chief Sen. Panfilo Laxon, who was also tough on crime, filed his candidacy on Wednesday. Retired boxing star Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isco Moreno have also been listed for a crowded and hostile campaign.

Vice-President Lenny Robredo, who leads the opposition, is expected to announce his candidacy on Thursday, after talks between prominent politicians to unite behind a single candidate failed after Duterte and his ruling party support him to succeed. Will give

Marcos Jr. lost to Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race and then failed over alleged election irregularities. Robredo has criticized her father’s refusal to apologize and express regret for the mistreatment under her dictatorship, saying she was ready for a new face.


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