“We strongly hold on to our stand that this is a reversal of history and an escape from accountability for their crimes of plunder and human rights violations.”
By RUTH LUMIBAO
MANILA — News of a compromise plan with the Marcos family, absolving them of all graft and corruption cases and liability to victims of martial law in 1972, has been floated by public officials as early as January 1, 2018.
The Duterte administration has denied atty.the existence of this compromise plan. In the website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) (https://pcoo.gov.ph/news_releases/presidential-spokesperson-alleged-compromise-agreement-marcos-family/), it vaguely explained, ” Oliver Lozano may have written to Malacanan proposing the creation of a legal team that would study a compromise agreement with the Marcos family. The proposal, however, has not been acted and agreed upon by the Palace.”
Lozano served as legal counsel of the late dictator, President Ferdinand Marcos.
Nevertheless, Solicitor General Jose Calida made a statement on January 12, declaring that he would support a compromise agreement with the Marcoses, when and if it is filed. In 2016, Calida also supported Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. in the latter’s campaign for vice president. Although he denied it, Calida has been branded as a “Marcos loyalist” since then.
This compromise agreement has earned the ire of the public, especially members of the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), an organization of victims of martial law under the late dictator.
SELDA Chairperson Trinidad Herrera-Repuno vowed that they would challenge any compromise deal with the Marcoses.
“We strongly hold on to our stand that this is a reversal of history and an escape from accountability for their crimes of plunder and human rights violations,” she said.
Repuno also criticized the Duterte administration for allowing itself to serve as a “dummy” of the Marcoses, who have constantly attempted to enter into compromise agreements even with past administrations. Only the Duterte administration has ever been more welcoming of the scheme.
“The Marcoses are masters of denial and hypocrisy, as if the people don’t know they have used dummies and cronies to pursue their interests. Now, they’re not only using Lozano, but most especially Duterte,” Repuno said.
“Duterte is trying to make it look like he is not part of these plans for a compromise deal, but look again. We won’t forget that he is the number one government official who pushes for the complete rehabilitation of the Marcoses since he allowed the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” she added.
SELDA encourages the Filipino people to stop any attempt of the Marcoses to, once again, claim and control seats of power. Everyone is encouraged to join different avenues of protest. After all, while the victims of martial law seek justice for the direct crimes committed by the Marcoses, every Filipino bears the burden of their crimes — foremost, the debt incurred by the Marcos administration is still being paid by the Filipinos today through their taxes.