akbayan2014Akbayan welcomes the release of compensation for the victims of the Marcos dictatorship at a time when his image is being rehabilitated through lies and propaganda, while his namesake, rejected by a majority of Filipinos, is doing everything he can to undermine the duly elected Vice President who beat him at the polls.

Under the Marcos Human Rights Victims Reparation Act which Akbayan principally authored, the government recognizes the abuses and plunder of dictatorship during Martial Law. This law is not just about the money but the historical recognition that Marcos, buried as a hero by the Duterte administration, was a tyrant under whom thousands were killed, tortured or disappeared.

This law also reminds us that much needs to be done in terms of holding the Marcos family to account for their part in Martial Law. The Marcos children were not innocent bystanders but participants or complicit beneficiaries of dictatorship. They have been part of efforts to cover up the paper trail and keep the remaining ill-gotten wealth away from government recovery efforts.

We must also remember that this administration has undermined the realities of what Marcos stands for. By accepting their campaign donation, burying the father alongside soldiers who actually died for the country, and dangling the son as possible appointee to executive positions. This concerted effort to revise history and restore to power the very same family that the broad movement for democracy ousted in 86, should not be lost to those who seek to defend the country from any and all possible dictators in the future.

Strengthening the Marcoses as a legitimate political force instead of holding them accountable and hauling them to jail, can only be the actuations of those who seek to emulate their rule. This legitimization must be rejected at all turns, and the release of Marcos victims' compensation should offer the Filipino people a moment to pause, and reflect why we must all never allow Martial Law to happen again.