Leni to Bongbong: How can we move on?

ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Vice presidential candidate and Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor ''Leni'' Robredo called on her opponent in the upcoming elections, Sen. Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr., to finally recognize the atrocities committed by his father's regime during the Martial Law period.

Since he launched his vice-presidential bid, the younger Marcos has been hounded by questions regarding the two-decade rule of his father which saw murders, forced disappearances and cases of human rights violations taking place.

Marcos has sought to downplay the matter, saying the Martial Law era should not be made an election issue. He is also urging the Filipino people to move on and focus on the the present and future.

READ: Bongbong: 'Closure' not within my power

For Robredo, moving on is not that easy.

"Sa mga nagsasabing panahon na para mag-move on sa Martial Law, ito lamang po ang masasabi ko sa kanila: Paano kami magmu-move on kung ang mga multo, pait at bangungot ng kahapon ay pilit na bumabalik at ginugulo ang ating katahimikan at kasalukuyan?" Robredo said in a statement.

The vice-presidential candidate also criticized Sen. Marcos for "painting a pretty picture" of the Martial Law era. She is also dismayed that some people, especially those on social media, have fallen for the narrative that the martial law period actually brought good things to the Philippines.

"Nalulungkot ako na pag may nagpopost sa social media na sinasabi na ang Martial Law years were the best years in our country's history. Hindi naman madaling makita na hindi iyon totoo kasi nandiyan naman ang facts and figures," Robredo said.

Robredo said when she was a child, hearing stories about the Marcos regime was not unusual.

"Nandoon na kahit musmos ka pa lang ang palaging kuwentuhan sa hapag-kainan mapa-almusal man o hapunan ay tungkol sa mga balitang may dinukot na ganitong aktibista, may pinatay na lider-manggagawa o kaya may baryo ng mga magsasaka na sinunog at pinagbabaril," she said.

She said Sen. Ninoy Aquino's death fueled her desire for change.

"Sa halip na maupo o umistambay na lang, nakita ko na lang ang sarili ko na kasama ang milyun-milyong Pilipino na lumabas sa kanilang mga tahanan upang samahan at ihatid si Ninoy Aquino sa kanyang huling hantungan," Robredo said.

"At simula rin noon, nakita ko rin ang sarili ko na kasa-kasama sa mga iba't ibang rally na nanawagan sa pagwawakas ng diktaturya," she added.

The country is set to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, a virtually bloodless uprising that ended the Marcos regime.

From lagging behind in early pre-election surveys, Robredo has risen to the second spot in the latest Social Weather Stations survey. The survey, however, shows the younger Marcos and Sen. Francis Escudero tied for the first spot.

KNOW THE WHOLE STORY