Isko: Philippines 'pitiful' if Marcos Jr. wins 2022 presidential race

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 01 2022 10:46 PM

SAN JOSE, Occidental Mindoro - Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday said the Philippines will be a "pitiful" country if Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wins the 2022 presidential elections.

The Marcos family's unpaid P203-billion estate tax would "disappear" if the clan's eldest son would ascend to the Philippines' highest-elected post, Domagoso told reporters on the sidelines of his sortie here.

"Kapag nanalo sila, good luck. Kawawa ang bansa, kawawa ang Pilipino," he said.

(If they win, good luck. The Philippines will be pitiful, Filipinos will be pitiful.)

"Hindi mo kailangang maging abogado para maintindihan mo na 'yung P203 billion mawawalang parang bula kapag sila na ang naupo," he said.

(You don't need to be a lawyer to understand that the P203 billion will disappear like a bubble if they reclaim the seat of power.)

Aksyon Demokratiko flagged the Marcos family's billions in tax liabilities and Domagoso vowed to use the uncollected sum to fund aid packages for farmers and public transportation drivers who are hit by rising fuel prices.

Earlier this week, PROMDI standard bearer Senator Manny Pacquiao aired a similar sentiment, saying Marcos Jr. will erase cases on his family's ill-gotten wealth and tax dues if the former dictator's son becomes president.

"Sila ang magiging wealthiest family in the world kasi malilinis nila eh."

(They will be the wealthiest family in the world because they will get rid of their liabilities.)

Domagoso also blamed the Marcos family for the dwindling garlic industry in the Ilocos, alleging that the Marcoses, who have ruled the northern region for decades, did nothing when imported agricultural products were flooding local markets.

"Malaking pamilya din ang namahala sa Ilocos. O 'yun ding pamilya na 'yun ang nagpabaya sa mga farmers ng bawang," he said.

(A big family ruled over Ilocos. It is the same family who neglected grlic farmers there.)

"Pinabayaan ng gobyerno doon yung industriya o farming ng bawang kaya ang kinakain nating bawang ay puro imported," he said.

(The government there neglected the garlic industry that's why what we are eating now are imported garlic.)

In 2014, the Department of Agriculture (DA) gave P10 million to the Mariano Marcos State University in Ilocos Norte for the research of drought-resistant garlic to grow in a shorter period and can be harvested twice a year.

The research also allowed garlic farmers to increase their produce to meet the country’s 133,000 metric-ton demand for garlic back then.

Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte produce around 7,000 tons of garlic annually and the bulk of the supply is being contracted by garlic traders in Urdaneta City and Manila, according to data from the DA.

In the same year, prices of garlic in the Philippines rose up to P320 per kilo.

Then-Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chair Cynthia Villar blamed the National Garlic Action Team (NGAT) - composed of traders, garlic farmer cooperatives, and the Bureau of Plant Industries (BPI) - for the skyrocketing prices of the crop usually used in Filipino viands.

"It's either they were making wrong projections, or they were trying to control supply.... I don't know the reason but definitely, there is something wrong with what they have done," she said.

The Senate panel also found that foreign producers could sell garlic for as low as P11 per kilo, while its farmers have to sell its local counterpart for about P40 per kilo to earn some income.

The DA later blacklisted dozens of garlic importers for allegedly having a hand in the price manipulation of garlic.