'Not credible:' Students protest vs Sandro Marcos during CHEd virtual congress

Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2021 04:12 PM | Updated as of Oct 06 2021 04:12 PM

Screenshot from RJ Naguit
Screenshot from RJ Naguit

MANILA (UPDATE) — Students staged an online protest during the speech of the late dictator’s grandson Sandro Marcos at a virtual congress organized by the Commission on Higher Education Cordillera Administrative Region on Monday. 

Marcos' pre-taped speech on “redefining the role of youth in nation-building” was met by changes of participants' names to #NeverAgain and martial law victims like Archimedes Trajano and Edgar Jopson to rally against his presence in the event.

Video courtesy of Commission on Higher Education Cordillera Administrative Region.

Gab Siscar, vice chair of the University of the Philippines Baguio University Student Council, said the public must remember how former President Ferdinand Marcos stole the lives of the youth during his administration.

"While it is true that the youth definitely plays a vital part in national development, we take offense that it comes from a Marcos. The Marcoses have never taken responsibility for the atrocities committed to the youth and people during Martial Law," Siscar told ABS-CBN News.

"We must not forget the likes of Lean Alejandro and Edgar Jopson, whose youth was stolen by Marcos's fascist regime," he added.

"It is ironic and bold of Sandro Marcos to talk about youth power while proudly commending the policies enacted by his grandfather which hindered Filipino youth development and stole their future. A Marcos can never represent the people. A dictator's junior can never represent the youth."

While Marcos' father, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., conceded in a 2016 interview that there were "widespread human rights abuses" during his father's rule, he stuck to a no-apology mantra and maintained that the Marcos name remained one of his strongest assets.

"I think one of the things that is happening now is I am a beneficiary of the good work that was done in my father's time," Bongbong, who was seeking the vice presidency at the time, told Agence France Presse.

"There were so many different things that were initiated at that time that to this day are of benefit to the people."

He deflected questions about mass theft by his parents, saying he believed accusations against them were exaggerated but that he was not privy to their decisions.

"I think a great deal of it was made up because none of it has been verified," he said in the same interview when asked whether they stole billions.

"These huge numbers that we hear about, we don't really know where they come from and how they were made up."

Bongbong lost to Vice President Leni Robredo.

 

Akbayan Citizens' Action Party Youth chair RJ Naguit told ABS-CBN News that the late dictator’s grandson, whose full name is Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, has no credibility to talk about the youth and nationalism as his family killed “a generation of heroes.”

“’Wag na tayong maglokohan. (Let’s not fool ourselves.) Sandro Marcos is neither a representative of the youth nor has the credibility to talk about nation-building. The Marcoses has plundered our country's wealth and killed a generation of heroes,” said Naguit. 

“It’s disappointing that the Commission on Higher Education provided a platform to this junior dictator whose only interest is to rehabilitate their family’s political power. We must exert all means to prevent a Marcos comeback,” he added.

Marcos, 27, recently announced his bid in 2022 for Congress representing the first district of Ilocos Norte.

On Wednesday, his father filed his candidacy for president. 

Asked in 2015 by the press about political dynasties, Marcos, who studied political science in England, said it is not unique to the Philippines.

“If you look at the Bush family in the US, two were congressmen and two were presidents,” he said.

“It’s something that exists everywhere,” he added. “People have the option to go into politics, and I feel like it’s a natural progression when you have family members in politics, when you are exposed to politics.”

In his speech at the CHEd virtual event, he said, “The globalization of ideas, goods, and services has been a catalyst in bringing our nation closer with those around us. So it is up to us, the youth of our nation, to navigate through these intricate waters.”

“Given our ability to ability to adapt, I have no doubt that we will play a key role in the years to come with these new issues we face,” he added. 

- with a report from Agence France-Presse

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