Bongbong on Marcos era: What am I to say sorry for?
Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA – Senator Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. said he and his family have nothing to apologize for what happened during the regime of his father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos, whose election to the Senate in 2010 marked the return of the Marcos clan to national politics, said the supposed progress experienced by the Philippines under his father outweighs the criticisms being lodged against him.
"Kung meron akong sinaktan, I will always say sorry, but what I've been guilty of to apologize about?" Marcos told ANC's Headstart.
''Will I say sorry for the thousands and thousands of kilometers that were built? Will I say sorry for the agricultural policy that brought us to self-sufficiency in rice? Will I say sorry for the power generation? Will I say sorry for the highest literacy rate in Asia? What am I to say sorry about?''
Nonetheless, the younger Marcos said he and his family feel sorry for people who felt injustice during his father's time.
"We have constantly said that if during that time of my father, mayroong mga nasagasaan or mayroong sinasabing hindi natulungan or they were victimized in some way or another, of course we're sorry that that happened. Nobody wants that to have happened. These are instances that have fallen through the cracks,'' he said.
The elder Marcos was ousted from power in 1986 through a popular revolt triggered by the killing of Ninoy Aquino Jr., the father of President Benigno Aquino III.
Asked if a possible bid for higher office is his way of vindicating his father, Marcos said, ''There's nothing I can do to change what my father did. If I was an absolutely brilliant, great senator and my father was a bad president, he would still be a bad president. If my father was a good president and I'm a terrible politician, it still would not change that."
''What I do is the work as I see it… History will judge him properly, and we'll leave it at that."
Marcos said he is still weighing his options for the 2016 polls. He, however, noted that running for reelection is no longer in the discussions he is having with his friends in politics.
(READ: Bongbong: Re-election no longer in discussions)
He said one of the things inspiring him to run for higher office is the supposed renewed support for the Marcos clan by people who said life was better during the time of his father.
''I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised that there are young people, some students and some who just entered the labor force, who say 'we are with you,''' he said.
''There has been this constant refrain: ''Buti pa nung panahon ni Marcos, maginhawa ang buhay. Buti pa nung panahon ni Marcos tinutulungan kami ng pamahalaan, maraming programa, maraming proyekto.' That is the general sentiment,'' he said.
Marcos, meantime, said he is open to running alongside Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance, even if the latter has not yet formally invited him.
(READ: Bongbong 'flattered' Binay is considering him as running mate)
''I'm open to anything at this point. This is Philippine politics and you cannot discount the possibility that the things that you didn’t imagine to happen would happen,'' he said.
Marcos added that he also met with another possible presidential contender, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, but there were no discussions on the possibility of them running together.
The tough-talking mayor has repeatedly said he has no plans of running for president in 2016.