This undated photo shows former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (The STAR/Boy Santos, file)
MANILA, Philippines — The high court’s dismissal of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s poll protest may have concluded the dictator’s son case against Vice President Leni Robredo, but the public should still guard against attempts by the family to return to power, civil society groups said.
The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) and Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA), in separate statements Thursday, welcomed the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s dismissal of the poll protest on Tuesday.
The PET was unanimous in junking Marcos’ poll protest on Tuesday. No other detail was given on the court’s reason for dismissal, but the tribunal has been clear that the entirety of the protest was denied.
The tribunal’s decision also affirmed Robredo’s win in the 2016 national polls, which Marcos had claimed was marred by fraud.
SELDA spokesperson Danilo dela Fuente said Marcos’ defeat in the 2016 polls shows the “people’s strong opposition against historical lies propagated by the Marcoses and their cohorts to rehabilitate the image of the former dictator and his family.”
“It is a strong rejection of their desperate attempts to wash off their blood record of human rights violations and corruption during Martial Law,” dela Fuente added.
But CARMMA warned the public that while tribunal’s decision may have closed Marcos’ path to the vice presidency, they must remain vigilant.
“CARMMA reminds the people that the objective of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ family remains — to entrench themselves once more in the highest seat of power and regain the powers that were taken from them by the people… CARMMA has witnesses how the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family, during their bloody reign, usurped and subverted our democratic institutions to remain in power,” the group added.
Even while his poll protest was pending before the tribunal, Marcos announced as early as January 2020 that he will be seeking a national post in the 2022 polls. Marcos’ legal team reiterated this after the tribunal’s rejection of the electoral protest.
His sister, Imee, is currently a senator.
“Let us continue to raise our voices and prevent their intent to return to the highest seat in government,” CARRMA also said.
SELDA spokesperson dela Fuente also said the fight for justice is not over, recalling that family matriarch Imelda Marcos is still free even after a plunder conviction, “while many elderly and sickly political prisoners are languishing behind bars due to trumped up cases.”
“Many martial law victims and survivors have not been recognized and indemnified,” he added. — Kristine Joy Patag
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