MANILA - Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. cannot twist what happened during the martial law era under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, the Palace said Monday.
In a tête-à-tête with Bongbong, Marcos' only son and namesake, Enrile claimed that "very few" of the dictator's critics were arrested during martial rule and that they were detained for "criminal acts."
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said laws and court decisions pertaining to the martial law debunk Enrile’s claims.
“As far as the Palace is concerned, there are decisions affirming that there were grave human rights violations committed during the Marcos regime. There’s even a law in Congress which provides compensation for victims of martial law,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
“I don’t think they can twist history when there’s a law and there are court decisions attesting to what happened under martial law.”
Roque was referring to the law granting reparation to martial law victims - an implicit recognition of abuses during what many regard as one of nation's darkest days.
Enrile was himself the Senate President when Congress passed the law in 2013.
Various court decisions here and abroad have also been made pertaining to the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses. Since the fall of the Marcoses, there have been efforts to bring back these wealth to the state coffers.
The reparation for the martial law victims came from the P10 billion Marcos deposits (originally US$356 million) turned over by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to the Philippine government in 1997.
Swiss authorities froze $356 million stashed by the Marcoses in Swiss banks after the regime fell in 1986.
The claims made by the 94-year-old Enrile, one of the most enduring figures in Philippine politics, have been met with strong protests by human rights advocates and victims.