Dictator’s Son Returned as Leader in Filipino Rebellion

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Pro-democracy protesters in the Philippines mark Saturday the anniversary of the 1986 military-backed “people power” rebellion that ousted the riots and now led the country’s dictatorship. celebrated with his son.

About 1,400 demonstrators, waving Philippine flags and carrying placards reading “Never Forget,” gathered at a sacred site for democracy along Metro Manila’s main EDSA highway. Left-wing activists separately protested at a nearby monument to the pro-democracy movement, carrying a statue depicting President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as a pest.

I faced an awkward situation of issuing a statement that marks the rebellion that overthrew his namesake father, Marcos Jr. called for reconciliation without citing the event as a democratic milestone, as his predecessor had done.

“I urge people of different political beliefs to reach out for reconciliation and unite to build a better society – a society that pursues progress, peace and a better life for all Filipinos.” he posted on facebook.

Renato Reyes of the Left Coalition Bayan said the president’s offer “was well-toned but lacked sincerity and substance” given Marcos Jr.’s refusal to admit abuse under his father’s rule. rice field.

In February 1986, millions of Filipinos converged on the highway to protect military and defense officials defecting from the Marcos regime. The ailing president imposed martial law from 1972 until his 1981 and was forced into exile in the United States along with his family and associates.

The riots portended a change in the authoritarian regime. But nearly 40 years later, poverty, extreme inequality between rich and poor, and failure to address past wrongdoings persist, fueling political and social divisions.

The Marcos family returned to the Philippines in 1991 and gradually regained political power despite looting and widespread human rights abuses 40 years earlier.

last May, Marcos Jr. wins presidential election A landslide victory in one of the most dramatic reversals of fortunes of all time.

“In a way, it’s shocking. How did that happen? I remember the people who sacrificed their lives and I feel so sad for the people who were tortured and those who lost loved ones,” said the former political detainee. Torture survivor Judy Tagiwaro told the Associated Press.

Tagiwaro, now 73 and ailing, said her generation of activists who fought against the dictatorship was slowly declining, but she continued to rebel.

“We have a new generation of fighters,” she said. “Tyranny may return, but it will not last forever, unless it is an uphill battle or you are misled by misinformation and you stop resisting.”

Supporters of Marcos Jr. called his big win political justification. Opponents believe that through his campaigns on Facebook and his media, the well-funded social whitewash family history in a country where he is considered one of the top users of his TikTok, he is one of the top users. You said you won a post.

The president steadfastly rejected calls to apologize for the atrocities and looting during his father’s reign, saying in a television interview last year that it was wrong to label Marcos the Elder as a dictator.

The exiled leader has refused to admit wrongdoing, including accusations that he and his family have amassed an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion while in power, three years after being overthrown. Died in exile in Hawaii.

A court in Hawaii held him responsible for human rights violations and ordered him to compensate the more than 9,000 Filipinos who had filed lawsuits against him for torture, imprisonment, extrajudicial killings, and disappearances. Awarded $2 billion from the estate.

Butch Abad, a prominent activist who joined the 1986 uprising, said the military-backed revolution fortunately did not escalate into a full-blown civil war and restored democracy peacefully. He should have been used to introduce structural reforms aimed at eradicating poverty, social inequality, and other destabilizing problems.

“Unfortunately, we stopped at ousting dictators and did not seek to deepen democracy,” Abad said.