Manila, Philippines (Updated at 23:52) – They may not have been alive during the dictatorship of Marcos, but millennials are still struggling with the consequences of his authoritarian rule.
Youth groups emphasized this point Wednesday in response to a statement by Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, a future administrative candidate for the senator, that Filipinos who continue to criticize the Marcoses should go further.
"The millennials have gone further and I think people of my age should continue", the daughter of the dictator was quoted as the nation the 35th anniversary of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. commemorated. the most vocal critics of her father.
"The conflict between Marcoses and Aquino happened a long time ago, we do not have to hate people for a long time, it's not our way, we just have to go further," Marcos said.
Marcos's policy is still present
But youth groups Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK), Anakbayan and Akbayan Youth claim that the policy that was instituted during the Marcos regime still exists.
"Every day the Filipino masses suffer from labor, contractualization, political murders and outright murder that have destroyed the country under Marcos," said spokesman Vince Simon of Anakbayan. Philstar.com in an online exchange.
"Foreign domination, corruption, elite domination, landlessness, absence of basic industries, and economic deprivation and their accumulated and lasting consequences during the Marcos dictatorship continue to hit the Filipino's today," he said.
SPARK added that policies such as the Education Act of 1982, which activist groups have said to have led to the commercialization of education, still affect Filipino youth.
"No movement is possible until justice is served, and there is no question that we will never forget the damage that martial law has done," said SPARK.
Akbayan Youth Chairman JC Tejano said that millennials have not gone any further because they know about the Marcoses' misdeeds.
"Alam naming may dugo ang mga kamay mo, pati na n kapatid mong si Bongbong, Alam naming tagapangulo ka ng Kabataang Barangay noong panahon ng martial law, at si Bongbong naman ay tagapangulo ng kurap na Philcomsat. Alam naming sangkot ka sa pagpatay kay Archimedes Trajano at nahatulan ka na sa short dahil ditto, "said Tejano.
In 1977, the 21-year-old Trajano asked why Imee was appointed chairman of Kabataang Barangay.
Days later, his bloodied body was found in the streets of Manila. According to witnesses, Trajano was forcibly captured by the guardians of Marcos from the university forum.
The Akbayan Youth chair promised that they would frustrate any attempt by the Marcoses to return to Malacañang.
& # 39; Best President Ever & # 39;
Loyalists believe that Marcos was the best president the Philippines ever had, because they reportedly built a whole series of infrastructure that is still used today.
Data from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund show that most of Marcos' infrastructure projects were financed with loans, raising the country's foreign deficit of $ 360 million when Marcos came to power in 1962 to about $ 28.3 billion when he resigned in 1986.
According to expert estimates, the country will need to pay the debt until 2025, nearly 40 years after the EDSA People Power Revolution.
The two-decade rule of Marcos was also marred by murders, human rights violations, disappearances and media repression, which the Marcos family did not recognize.
Amnesty International estimated that 70,000 people were taken prisoner, 34,000 were tortured and 3,240 were killed during martial law.
Loyalists dispute the reports of mistreatment as propaganda, but a government council has paid compensation to victims of human rights violations under the management of Marcos.
The reparations were financed with money that had been recovered from a Marcos account that a Swiss court had transferred to the Philippine government. The Supreme Court has already ruled that the money has become unjustified.
"Imee Marcos may have the idea that her family demands the respect and admiration of people like us who have never seen the corruption and violence of martial law, but the Marcosian imagination of absolute control remains a dream of a freestanding life," said Simon from Anakbayan.
"She seems to have forgotten how the young people mobilized against the funeral of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos on the Libingan ng mga Bayani and how various youth organizations are involved in remembering atrocities that took place during the war talks and how it still affects our lives, "SPARK also said.
READ: The special reports from NewsLab about the myths that Marcos made
& # 39; Marcos-Duterte alliance & # 39;
The Marcoses' desire to "help" Filippino "s" is absurd, Simon said when the family joined President Rodrigo Duterte and Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – "perhaps the worst thieves and murderers in Philippine history . "
"The crime and despotism of the Marcoses can only be further uncovered with such a political alliance," said Anakbayan's spokesperson.
SPARK, for its part, said that Duterte's leadership is reminiscent of Marcos & # 39 ;.
"We are now living in a time when there is blatant disregard for human rights that is made possible directly by the president, opposition is tagged as enemies of the state and we incur large amounts of external debt under the notorious & # 39; Build, Build, Build & # 39; program, "it said.
Several rights groups stressed that the Philippines under Duterte are in the worst human rights landscape since the dictatorship of Marcos as thousands – mostly urban poor residents – have been killed in the brutal campaign against illegal drugs in such a short time.
Duterte has been identified as friendly to the Marcoses.
Last week Duterte said that if he left his position, the only son of the late strong man, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., would be one of his favorite successors instead of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Marcos is working on an electoral protest against Robredo, which he accused in 2016 of cheating.
Duterte also allowed the funeral of dictator Ferdinand Marcos on the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
READ: Duterte & # 39; s favorite successor: Someone like Bongbong, Chiz
& Apologies before we continue & # 39;
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines, meanwhile, said that Imee and her family would continue to remember the many youth martyrs such as Liliosa Hilao, Lorena Barros and Eman Lacaba who were killed because they stood up against the dictatorship.
"The guild will never go further with the attempt by the then US-Marcos government to stifle the militant stance of the campus press and Filipino youth by closing all student papers and banning CEGP to fearlessly expose the ills of Philippine society. explain, "he said.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party and a student leader during the Marcos years, said that the Marcos should show regret for the abuses and atrocities committed against tens of thousands of Filipinos under the law of war.
"The Marcos family must stop using the same unexplained wealth to lie and rewrite history, and when this happens, we can all talk about it and consider going further," Pangilinan said.
He added: "apologize and express first of all regret before we talk about continuing."
The family remains onapologetic.
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