Philippine bishops reject ‘distortions’ of Marcos’ dictatorship
Bangkok, Feb 25 (EFE).- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday rejected “radical distortions” regarding the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, which ended exactly 36 years ago on this day.
Moreover, the country is just two and a half months from the presidential elections in which his son “Bongbong” is the front runner.
In a letter addressing their followers, the bishops said that ahead of the elections on May 9, they did not seek to favor anyone but the truth against the “radical distortions” in the history of the Martial Law imposed by Marcos and the People Power Revolution that overthrew him in 1986.
CBCP did not refer directly to the candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son of the dictator who died in 1989, but referred to his election propaganda machinery on social networks as “troll farms which sow the virus of lies.”
“We are appalled by the blatant and subtle distortion, manipulation, cover-up, repression and abuse of the truth, like: historical revisionism – the distortion of history or its denial; the proliferation of fake news and false stories; disinformation – the seeding of false information and narratives in order to influence the opinion of the people, to hide the truth, to malign and blackmail people,” the Conference said.
CBCP, consisting of 127 bishops, reviewed human rights abuses during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos (1965-1986), especially since Martial Law was declared in 1972, and recalled the important role of the Catholic Church in the fall of Marcos in 1986.
The bishops had then denounced electoral fraud in the elections of Feb.7, 1986 and encouraged their followers to go out on one of the main streets of Manila to defend soldiers who refused to follow Marcos’ orders.
This had led to a peaceful revolution that ended up forcing the Marcos family to exile in Hawaii (USA).
The influential Catholic Church in the Philippines has so far avoided endorsing any of the candidates for the elections, although some prominent members have criticized Marcos.
Moreover, 500 priests and nuns showed their support this week for Leni Robredo, current vice president and only candidate who seems to have any chance before the dictator’s son.
The latest poll published this month by Pulse Asia indicates that Marcos would get an overwhelming majority with 60 percent of the vote, followed by Robredo with some 16 percent, while other candidates such as former boxer Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso they would not secure even 10 percent.
According to Transparency International, it is estimated that 3,257 people were summarily executed, 70,000 imprisoned and 34,000 tortured since the martial law was enacted in 1972 and that Ferdinand Marcos illegally appropriated over $10 billion. EFE