Saturday, March 25, 2023

‘Our blood is boiling’: Philippine presidency rages as dictator’s son suffers

MANILA, May 5 (Reuters) – Former political prisoner Christina Bavagan still has the dress she wore on the day she was arrested, tortured and sexually abused by soldiers during the brutal era of martial law of the late Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. it was done.

Bavagan fears the horrors of Marcos’ regime will be diminished if his eponymous son wins the presidency in next week’s election, a victory that has taken three decades of political turmoil for a family ousted in the 1986 “People Power” uprising. will stop the fight.

Marcos Jr., also known as “Bongbong”, has been described by some political analysts as a decades-long public relations effort to change perceptions of his family, one of Asia’s most notorious kleptocracies. is in charge of staying on top of. read more

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Rivals in the family say the presidential race is an attempt to rewrite history and change the story of corruption and authoritarianism associated with his father’s era.

“This election is not just a fight for elected positions. It’s also a fight against propaganda, fake news and historical revisionism,” Marcos’ main rival in the presidential race, Lenny Robredo, told supporters in March.

TSEK.PH, a fact-checking initiative leading up to a May 9 vote, told Reuters last month that it had debunked a number of misinformation related to martial law that it says was rehabilitating, erasing the infamous record of Marcos Snr. or was used to burn.

Marcos Jr.’s camp did not respond to a written request for comment from Reuters on Bavgan’s story.

Marcos Jr., who last week called his late father a “political genius”, has previously denied claims of spreading misinformation and his spokesman has said Marcos does not engage in negative publicity. read more

Bawgan, 67, said martial law victims like him need to share their stories to counter the portrayal of the elder Marcos’ regime as a peaceful, golden age for the Southeast Asian country.

“It is very important that they see the primary evidence that this actually happened,” said Bavgan, showing off the printed dress, which had a tear below the neckline, where her torturer passed a blade over her chest and stroked her breasts. .

The elder Marcos ruled for two decades from 1965, nearly half of it under martial law.

During that time, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed, according to figures from Amnesty International — Marcos Jr. had questioned in a January interview. read more

An activist, Bavagan, was arrested on May 27, 1981 in Nueva Esija province for alleged sabotage by soldiers and brought to a “safehouse”, where he was beaten up as they tried to extract a confession from him .

“I used to get slapped in the face every time they weren’t satisfied with my answer and that happened all the time,” Bavgan said. “He hit my thighs hard and clapping my ears. He tore my duster and caressed my breasts.”

Bavgan, a mother of two, said, “The hardest part was when they put an object in my vagina. That was the worst part of it and I screamed the whole time. There was no one to listen.”

In a conversation with Marcos Jr., who appeared on YouTube in 2018, Juan Ponce Enraile, who served as the late dictator’s defense minister, said that not a single person should be criticized for his political and religious views, or the elder Marcos. was not arrested for

However, more than 11,000 victims of state vandalism during martial law were later compensated using millions from Marcos’ Swiss bank deposits, part of the billions snatched from the country’s treasury and recovered by the Philippine government. Read more Among them was Felix Dallisse, who was detained for 17 months since August 1973, when he was beaten and tortured by soldiers trying to force him to inform other activists, leading to a trial. Loss occurred.

“They kicked me before I could even get into the military jeep, so I fell and my face fell to the ground,” said Delise, showing a scar on his right eye the day he was arrested.

When they arrived at military headquarters, Dalise said they had been brought to an interrogation room, where soldiers repeatedly clapped, kicked and hit her ears during interrogation, sometimes with the butt of a rifle.

“They started by putting the bullets used in .45 caliber guns between my fingers and they would squeeze my hand. It really hurt. If they weren’t satisfied with my answer, they would kill me, ‘ said Delise, pointing to the different parts of his body.

Marcos’ return to the country’s seat of power is unimaginable for Delisey, who turns 70 this month.

“Our blood boils over that idea,” Delisse said. “Marcos Sr. declared martial law so they’d say no one was arrested, and tortured? We’re here to speak while we’re still alive.”

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Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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