Bongbong Marcos was never a dictator, former Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday as he defended his decision to run for senator under the Marcos-Duterte ticket.
Roque, a human rights lawyer who supported efforts to compensate martial law victims, said Bongbong was not implicated in the cases decided by Philippine and U.S. courts to recover ill-gotten wealth or claim damages for during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.
“Hindi naging diktador si Bongbong Marcos…. So clearly, you cannot attribute the sins of the father to the son,” he told ANC in an interview.
Marcos Jr’s presidential campaign has revived debates on his family’s corruption and human rights record. While other candidates have supported calls for Bongbong to apologize over the atrocities during his father’s dictatorship, Roque said it’s not something that anyone can impose.
“I don’t think we can impose on anyone the need to apologize. It’s up to them. If they feel there is a need, then they should,” he said.
“All I’m saying is, having done my due diligence, that this guy has no pending case where there was a judgment that he was guilty of plunder, or that there was even a civil judgment in the U.S., I don’t see why I should not run with him,” he added.
He also met Marcos on several occasions in the past, where he saw the presidential aspirant “completely different from the public perception.”
“He’s just very unassuming, very humble, and I guess from a personal level, I don’t think he is the evil person that I portray the dictatorship to be,” Roque said.
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