Bongbong on EDSA: We still have a long way to go

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Thirty years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution that ousted his father, President Ferdinand Marcos, vice-presidential aspirant Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. believes there are many things that still need to be done in the country today. 

"Tapos na yun. Ang iniisip namin kung ano ang gagawin ngayon," Marcos said. 

"We still have a long way to go. Marami pang hinaing ang taong bayan. Iyon ang dapat pinag-uusapan at binibigyan sila ng pag-asa." 

Marcos said he will leave it up to historians to tell the public what really happened during the Martial Law years. He claimed that despite negative campaigns against him, he has been receiving help from groups that were against his father before. 

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"There are members of different organizations na tumulong sa akin, na lumaban sa tatay ko, na tumulong sa akin 2010 pa lang," he said. 

He also noted statements against his candidacy are part of politics. 

"Iba na ang panahon ngayon. It's not 1986. It's 2016. Maraming bagay na kailangan tugunang mga problema." 

The Marcos family has long been dogged by accusations the dictator oversaw massive human rights abuses and plundered billions of dollars from state coffers until a famous "people power" revolt toppled him from power in 1986.

But after the Marcos patriarch died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, the family returned to the country in 1991 and began a successful political comeback, culminating in Bongbong Marcos getting elected to the Senate in 2010.

Sen. Sergio Osmena III, grandson of the late Commonwealth President Sergio Osmena, earlier said the Philippines will become the laughingstock of the world if Marcos Jr. wins the vice-presidential race in 2016.

He also castigated Marcos' series of campaign ads that focused on the theme "Hindi ako ang aking nakaraan (I am not my past)." 

"That is the shallowest excuse. If we were in Germany and a son of [Adolf] Hitler came back, I don't think that he'd be able to use the phrase 'moving on.' In other words, sasabihin ng tao 'Tumahimik ka na lang.' Maski wala kang direct kasalanan, tumahimik ka na lang sapagkat this reminder of your father's pre-war and wartime activities is not going to sit well with our nation and our people," Osmena said. 

READ: If Marcos wins, PH will be laughingstock of the world: Osmena

For his part, Marcos said there is a big difference between the genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany and the human rights violations during martial law. He explained that unlike the Final Solution of Adolf Hitler or the atrocities committed by Imperialist Japan, it was never the policy of his father to commit human rights violations.

''The examples you gave, these are government officials apologizing for state policies. The things that my father is being accused of, wala namang state policy na ganoon. If people were hurt, that was never the intention. If there were people who were left behind, that was not the intention. For example, the killing of the Jews was precisely the intention. Of course they should apologize for that. That's the difference with what we're talking about," he said in a DZMM interview. 

In the interview, Marcos acknowledged that human rights violations were indeed committed during his father's time by abusive soldiers. 

He noted that during his father's time, the Philippine government was fighting a war on two fronts - the secessionist movement in the south and the communist uprising in the countryside. 

Asked about the reported torture of activists and political enemies during martial law, he said: "Yung mga nangyayari sa gera, yun ang nangyari. Kung hindi tayo ginera, hindi sana nangyari yun." 

Marcos was also asked if he is willing to apologize on behalf of his father and family. He replied: ''Wala sa kamay ko na magbigay ng closure na sinasabi ko. It is not within my power, it is not within my means to do that. 

Bongbong on Marcos era: What am I to say sorry for?

He also defended his campaign ads, noting that the Filipino people should "move on from the past" so that the country can move forward. 

"Tayong lahat, kahit nahirapan tayo sa nakaraan, kahit tayo ay minalas sa nakaraan, huwag nating pababayaan na hanggang doon na lang tayo. Ipagpatuloy pa rin natin ang pagsisikap," Marcos explained. 

Asked if the ad is meant to tell people to forget martial law atrocities, he said: "Not specifically."

"Ang sinasabi ko, lahat ng tao may pinagdaanan na kahirapan. May kasabihan nga: 'Into every life a little rain must fall.' Pero huwag nating pababayaan na yun na ang, hanggang doon na lang tayo," he said. 

Marcos is now tied at top spot for the vice presidential race together with Sen Francis Escudero in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey. 

READ: Binay lead slips; Chiz, Marcos tied in VP race: SWS