MANILA - Former President Fidel V. Ramos and former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile should be blamed for martial law atrocities, the founder of a Marcos loyalist group said Friday, on the 29th death anniversary of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Ramos and Enrile were 2 of 12 military officials who were given gold Omega watches by Marcos for their "instrumental" roles during martial law, an era marked by thousands of reported disappearances and torture incidents.
"Marcos issued [a statement to] the general na pinapaubaya niya talaga kay Enrile ang pag-aarrest, kung sino lumalabag sa batas," Cherry Cobarrubias, founder of the Marcos Loyalists for God, Country and People, told ANC's Early Edition.
"There are people in charge. Hindi naman siya (Marcos) direct. He has to ask Ramos and Enrile," she said.
Enrile and Ramos later broke away from Marcos' group and launched an uprising that sparked the first EDSA People Power revolution, the event that removed the dictator from the seat of power.
Cobarrubias insisted that the late strongman was not liable for any human rights violations simply because he was not convicted by a court.
"They were saying Marcos is a human rights violation, but the fact is Marcos has no human rights violations in the Philippines," she said.
"Hindi naman sila nag-file ng human rights violations. He was never convicted," she said.
In 2013, the "Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act" that guaranteed the granting of reparation to martial law victims was signed into law to mark the 27th anniversary of the declaration of martial law.
The law signified the state's recognition of the "heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations."
Enrile, who approved the law when he served as Senate president, has been accused of "historical revisionism" for recently claiming that "very few" of the dictator's critics were arrested during martial rule and that they were detained for "criminal acts."
About 75,749 alleged cases of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship were filed before the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board.
Cobarrubias said the number of martial law victims was simply bloated by the Marcos' political opponents.
"Sobra-sobra ang ginawa nilang numero," she said.
"Naglagay sila ng iba-ibang tables sa mga probinsya kung sino-sino mga biktima ni Marcos, lumapit kayo dito. So nangumbida sila talaga," she said.
Only 14 percent of the total number of human rights violations claims were verified as true, HRVCB chairwoman Lina Sarmiento said earlier this year.
The 14 percent accounted for 11,103 victims.