Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao sent a strong message about martial law atrocities during the Marcos dictatorship in his visit to Cebu City on Thursday.
The retired boxing superstar laid flowers at the marker erected for Fr. Rudy Romano, a Cebu-based priest who vocally opposed human rights abuses during the Marcos regime.
In 1985, Romano was abducted by armed men in Barangay Tisa. He was never seen again.
“Hindi natin pwedeng kalimutan ang nangyari, kung sa sugat may marka yan,” said Pacquiao, explaining why he chose to visit the marker.
He also said he is not keen on bringing back martial law again.
“Nothing personal pero ang karapatan ng tao ang ipinaglalaban natin dito,” said Pacquiao.
He previously criticized ex-senator and fellow presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. after the latter claimed he knew nothing about the martial law years.
"Hindi niya pwedeng sabihin na wala siyang alam," he said in an interview on ANC Headstart.
Pacquiao said there is a clamor for the Marcos family to return alleged billions of dollars of ill-gotten wealth. A Supreme Court ruling in 2003 penned by future Chief Justice Renato Corona forfeited in favor of the Republic over $658 million owned by Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos but hidden in front foundations and organizations.
He added that if he is elected president, he will review all investigations against the Marcoses as well as the ill-gotten wealth recovered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
"Ayaw kong manira pero yung isyu ng yaman na hawak ng Marcoses, kung ano man yung nanakaw nila sa ating gobyerno, kailangan na nila sigurong ibalik. 'Yun ang sinisigaw ng taumbayan," he said. -- With a report from Annie Perez-Gallardo