Former anti-martial law activists back Marcos’ VP bid

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(File photos) (L) Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, (Center) Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., and (R) Born-Again Bishop Butch Belgica

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Former anti-martial law activists who participated in the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. are now appealing to the public — move on from issues of the past.

In a forum last Saturday (April 16), Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos, labor leader Terry Tuazon, Cocofed Chairman Efren Villasenor, and Born-Again Bishop Butch Belgica expressed support for the vice presidential bid of the former dictator’s son.

They said the electorate should start looking at the credentials of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, in holding the second highest position in the land.

Abalos, who actively campaigned for the ouster of Marcos’ father in 1986 People Power Revolution and whose family has always been identified with former President Corazon Aquino, appealed for objectivity.

He also said it has been three decades since the Marcoses left Malacañang—thus, it’s the government’s fault if justice remains elusive for the martial law victims.

Tuazon, a unionist during martial law, for his part admitted he was impressed with the younger Marcos’ labor platforms, which the senator presented during the vice presidential debate on April 10.

In the debate, Marcos said if elected, he would ask the president to let him lead the Labor department and address workers’ concerns.

Also read: Cayetano hits at Marcos on corruption issue during vice presidential debate

Villasenor noted that it was the senator who backed their position over how the coco levy fund is to be used and ensure that this will benefit coconut farmers throughout the country.

Bishop Belgica, for his part, said that the senator is the most qualified to become vice president and will become an asset to whoever wins as president, due to his long experience in handling local government.

Also read: Marcos says he can’t apologize, give compensation to martial law victims

Marcos, meantime, said he appreciates the former crusaders against martial law who expressed their support for his candidacy.

“I have heard that they (former anti-Marcos activists) came out to express their support for me despite the barrage of negative criticisms that are being thrown my way throughout this campaign trail,” Marcos said. “I appreciate their words and their confidence in my capabilities.”

Marcos added he remains hopeful that more people will judge him for his merits as a public servant when deciding who to vote for on election day.

Also read: Cayetano likens Marcos wealth to Napoles money