Game for martial law queries? 'If you have something new to ask,' Bongbong says
Former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday it would be difficult to engage in "the same conversation I’ve been having for 35 years" when asked if he was willing to answer questions on his father's dictatorship.
The son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who registered his candidacy for president on Oct. 6, said he has "never refused any interview on any basis whatsoever."
Pressed on whether or not he was willing to be interviewed about his father's martial law, Marcos replied, "My comment to other people always is if you have something new to ask me."
"Mahirap naman (it is difficult) if we will be talking, having the same conversation I’ve been having for 35 years," he told reporters after filing his certificate of candidacy.
"But of course, I have never, I do not know where that comes from, I have never turned down an interview. I have never specified the subjects that we have to talk about," continued Marcos.
Since returning to the Philippines in 1991 from a 5-year exile in Hawaii after his father's overthrow in a "People Power" uprising, Marcos and his family have been trying to rebuild their image, which was tainted by human rights violations during the patriarch's dictatorship.
The government has recovered P174 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth, according to the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
The family denies any wrongdoing. Matriarch Imelda has been found guilty of several counts of graft in lower courts but has won most of her appeals in higher courts. None of the members of the former first family has been imprisoned.
CARMMA, a group campaigning against the resurgence of the Marcos family, earlier said Bongbong was "not an innocent bystander during the Marcos dictatorship, directly benefiting while holding positions in crony corporations."
His refusal to apologize to martial law victims and denial of involvement in the military rule "completes Bongbong's self-centered image and blind focus on restoring the stature of the Marcos family to their former glory."
Bongbong has asked the public to "move on and move forward," saying the past cannot be changed and that "blaming others and finding scapegoats are not solutions" to the many problems the country is facing.
Marcos, 64, is a former governor, congressman, and senator. He on Tuesday said he would seek the top government post to bring back "unifying leadership" as the country faced the COVID-19 crisis that he dubbed "one of the greatest tests in its history."