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Dateline Seattle: No to another Marcos

Another Marcos has recently expressed desire to run for national office. This time it’s Imee Marcos, the eldest daughter of the late dictator and currently governor of Ilocos Norte. Because of the imminent defeat surrounding the electoral protest filed by her brother, Bongbong Marcos Jr., to wrest the vice presidency from Leni Robredo, perhaps the entire Marcos family thinks that there is no other politician worthy of the office than another Marcos. While attending the Baguio Flower Festival last week, Imee was quoted by several newspapers as saying, “The electoral protest filed by Bongbong has not advanced so one of his other siblings may be forced to seek national office, like me.” In fairness, Imee did not mention what national office she is aiming at. But one can surmise that she either wants to be a senator or a vice president. My crystal ball is telling me that whatever position she decides to run for, her ultimate ambition is to be the president of the Philippines someday. Only Imee or her brother Bongbong has the chance of fulfilling their mother’s wish that a member of their close family follows the footsteps of their father. Bongbong has not denied that it is the dream of his mother, Imelda Marcos, for him to become president. Bongbong once admitted that since he was three years old, he had been hearing about his mother’s dream. But with Imelda’s dream in jeopardy, someone has to step forward and fulfill another dream of the Marcoses – that of rehabilitating the image of their father who was a known human rights violator and whose Martial Law regime was infamously known for its corruption, financial abuses and extravagance. Imee is the logical choice to carry the family’s political ambition. There is no one else. Irene Araneta, the youngest sibling, is not into politics. The problem with Imee is she is a Marcos. As the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree. It’s a figurative way of saying that children inherit certain characteristics of their parents. Remember Archimides Trajano? He was the 21-year-old Mapua student who, in August of 1977, questioned Imee’s appointment as Chairman of the Kabataang Barangay youth organization. Imee was pissed by the question. Her security guards dragged Trajano and his dead body was found hours later, severely tortured. Nine years after the killing, Agapita Trajano, the mother of the victim, pressed charges against Imee and her bodyguards. The Honolulu district court ruled against Imee. The court awarded Mrs. Trajano $2.5 million in punitive damages, $1.25 million for mental anguish and $246,966 in attorney’s fees. Imee retaliated by saying, “Yes, Archimedes Trajano was tortured and killed but it’s none of your business.” (Wikipedia). This type of arrogance is what makes Imee scary. It seems that remorse is not in her vocabulary either. And now she wants to run for national office. Imee was already of age during the Martial Law years. She knew what was happening then She must have known about the existence of documented human rights violations during Martial Law numbering around 100,000, including salvaging and enforced disappearances, imprisonment and torturing of dissenters. She must have known about her family’s ill-gotten wealth stashed somewhere, like the family’s reported Swiss bank accounts amounting to $356 million. She must have known that the Martial Law years were not a time of economic prosperity and peace. But like Bongbong, she never came close to admitting and apologizing for her father’s wrongdoings in her attempt to sanitize the evil that was Martial Law. The closest that Imee came to admitting her father’s mistakes was when she asked her family’s detractors at the commemoration of her late father’s birthday in Batac City a few years back when she said, “Sana anuman ang kasalanan ng aking ama -- sapagkat hindi naman niya kailanman sinabi na siya ay hindi tao lamang na nagkakamali at nagkakasala... mahanap na nila ang kapatawaran.” (I hope that whatever sins my father committed -- since he never said that he is not a mere human who errs and commits sins... they can forgive him.) She added, “Sa pagpapatawad sa atin, sa aking ama, sa pagpapatawad, sana mapawi na rin ang galit nila at sila mismo ay mabigyan ng kapayapaan at katahimikan.” (In forgiving us, my father, in forgiving, I wish that their anger will be assuaged so they can have peace and tranquility.) No, Imee, forgiveness without justice will not lead to peace and tranquility.

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