Bongbong lacks honesty, accountability – Palace
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 28, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Vice presidential candidate Sen. Ferdinand '"Bongbong" Marcos Jr. cannot be trusted because of his refusal to recognize the atrocities during martial law, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Marcos, one of the top contenders for the vice presidential race based on latest pre-election surveys, is trying to divert attention from reality.

“Trustworthiness of a person is based on honesty and accountability. Mr. Marcos’ record as a vice presidential candidate shows that he is seriously lacking in both aspects,” Coloma said.  

“He continues to paint a rosy picture of what actually happened during martial law and glosses over the oppressive character of the dictatorship,” he added.

Coloma was asked to react to Marcos’ statement that he is not in favor of a repeat of martial law in the Philippines.

In a campaign sortie in Pangasinan last week, Marcos said the situation in the country is different now and there is no need to repeat what his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, did during his presidency.

The senator said putting the Philippines under martial law would mean that the country is facing a crisis.

Coloma, however, is not buying the younger Marcos’ pronouncements.

“Should our people trust a candidate who refuses to acknowledge what actually happened and attempts to divert attention from reality? Our bosses know better and we trust they will decide wisely on election day,” he said.

Marcos is performing strongly in surveys on vice presidential candidates despite efforts by martial law victims and political rivals to campaign against him.

He and Sen. Francis Escudero shared the top spot in the Social Weather Stations survey conducted from Feb. 5 to 7 with 26 percent.

The Aquino administration’s vice presidential bet, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, ranked third with 19 percent. She was followed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano with 16 percent.

Sen. Gringo Honasan of the United Nationalist Alliance placed fifth with six percent while Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV landed in sixth place with five percent.

Meanwhile, Marcos said he is consolidating the national unity movement that he launched in Batac, Ilocos Norte last month to end the culture of impunity that he claimed has stalled progress in the country.

In a speech before a multisectoral group in Barangay Biga in Tanza, Cavite, Marcos urged the people to vote for candidates who espoused national reconciliation and unity and reject candidates who continue to use divide and rule tactics in pursuing their political agenda.

Marcos did not name any particular candidate or personality but he said since the EDSA People Power revolt that toppled his father former president Ferdinand Marcos, the country has continued to regress and as a result hampered delivery of basic needs of the people.

“We are a divided nation. Let us bring back unity. We are one people, one nation,” Marcos said.

He reported that since the unity caravan started in his home province of Ilocos Norte, the movement has reached Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra, Isabela, Cagayan and Batangas where people came out to show their support for his crusade.

The unity caravan continued in Bulacan and Tondo, Manila yesterday and will resume today in Rizal province.

“In my sorties people shake hands with me, hug me and some even kiss me,“ he said.

Marcos lamented that 30 years after the ouster of his father, development projects have been abandoned by the succeeding administrations and resulted in the current problems besetting the country. – With Perseus Echeminada

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