MANILA (UPDATE) —"Kasalanan nung tatay, bakit magiging kasalanan ng anak?"
(Why should the sin of the father become the sin of the son?)
Senatorial aspirant Raffy Tulfo on Monday said he sees no need for 2022 presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to apologize after his family was accused of massive corruption while in power.
Speaking to ANC's "Headstart," Tulfo said issues of ill-gotten wealth against the Marcos family should be left up to the courts.
He added that it would be unfair for him to dictate to the younger Marcos to apologize for the issues hurled against the Marcos family.
The Marcoses amassed an estimated $5 to $10 billion, or more than P500 billion, in ill-gotten wealth, based on the World Bank-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Stolen Asset Recovery report.
The Presidential Commission on Good Government, the agency tasked with recovering billions of dollars plundered by Marcos and his allies, had recovered a total of P170 billion in the past 30 years.
"Kasalanan nung tatay, bakit magiging kasalanan ng anak? Why would he apologize for something that he did not do, na ang may kagagawan ay tatay niya? Opinyon ko 'yan," Tulfo said.
"Bakit 'yung kasalanan ng kamag-anak, ipinapasa sa isang kamag-anak? Because I myself [have] been a victim of that. Just because nagkaroon ng isyu 'yung mga kapatid ko na kaapelyido ko, pati ako nadadamay. Dapat hindi ganun."
"Give the other relative na walang kinalaman sa kaso a chance na para ma-prove ang sarili niya."
NOT AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER
In response to Tulfo's remark, a coalition of martial law victims criticized the broadcaster for "harping on the same script of denialism that whitewashes and absolves the Marcoses of their injustices and crimes against the Filipino people."
"Marcos Jr. was not an idle, innocent bystander during the time his father was plundering the nation’s coffers or jailing and torturing political dissidents," the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law said in a statement.
"He benefited from and enabled the sins of his father as much as he had sins of his own, especially when Marcos Jr. held key government positions during his father’s dictatorship," the group added.
Carmma noted that Marcos Jr. was the vice governor of Ilocos Norte from 1980 until 1983. He was later appointed as chairman of the board of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation in 1985.
"Marcos Jr. and his siblings were far from being young children back then," the group said.
Carmma cited the following rulings showing corruption and human rights abuses under the Marcos regime:
- On Sept. 22, 1992, the United States Federal Court found the late dictator guilty of human rights violations, with the Marcos estate liable to compensate the victims.
- On Nov. 9, 2018, the Sandiganbayan found Imelda Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft for opening and maintaining illegal Swiss foundations, where Marcos Jr. and his siblings were named as beneficiaries.
- On Sept. 28, 2021, the Sandiganbayan ruled that bank deposits made by the late dictator at the Traders Royal Bank are ill-gotten wealth that should be returned to the government.
"To this day, the Marcoses—including Marcos Jr.—have never served a day in jail for these crimes. Their loot from decades of pocketing billions of public funds has yet to be returned," the group said.
Carmma has this to say about Tulfo's stance on the Marcoses: "If Raffy Tulfo claims to be a public servant fighting for justice of the common people, he should be joining the calls for justice and accountability for the Marcoses’ crimes against the Filipino people — not whitewashing them and echoing their lies."
In the Headstart interview, Tulfo confirmed that he was in talks with the Marcos camp to be included as a guest candidate, but said he is still hammering out some issues.
"Pinag-uusapan pa 'yan ng grupo ko at grupo niya. Meron lang kaunting mga bagay-bagay na mukhang hindi pa muna kayang maging guest candidate ako for one reason or another. Pinaplantsa 'yan," he said.
Tulfo topped Pulse Asia's latest survey on the Filipinos' preferred senatorial candidates for the 2022 national elections, getting 55.2 percent backing among respondents.
Meanwhile, Marcos Jr. was in second place behind President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Sara, in a recent Pulse Asia Research survey of voter preference for president next year.
Marcos Jr. served as a senator from 2010 to 2016, and his mother Imelda has said she dreams of him becoming the country's leader.
Marcos Jr. has tried to defend his father's rule by citing economic growth, and downplayed the human rights abuses during that time.
He has also claimed he was too young to shoulder any responsibility, but critics point out that he was governor of the Marcos family's home province from 1983 to 1986.
His father was ousted in 1986 through a bloodless peoples' revolt.