Where does Bongbong Marcos stand on key issues?

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Where does Bongbong Marcos stand on key issues?
FILE PHOTO: Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jnr, former senator and son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is surrounded by supporters after attending the recount of votes in the 2016 vice presidential race at the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in Manila on April 2, 2018. (Photo: NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Yahoo Philippines rounds up what Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., arguably the most controversial presidential candidate running in the 2022 elections, has to say recently on several key issues.

Drug use allegations

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When asked about his alleged use of cocaine, Marcos said that “he is too busy” for cocaine.

Ako? Ay hindi ako pwede sa ganyan dahil masyado akong maraming ginagawa. That kind of lifestyle, para sa mga walang ginagawa, sa walang trabaho,” Marcos said.

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(Me? I can’t use that because I am too busy. That kind of lifestyle is for those who have nothing to do, those unemployed.)

That kind of lifestyle is for those who have nothing to do, those unemployed

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The dictator’s son then underwent a drug test at St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, afterward saying that he tested negative. The results were sent to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police (PNP), and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Marcos was met with allegations after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that a certain presidential candidate with a well-known father and name used cocaine.

ICC probe and Duterte’s war on drugs

In light of a probe launched by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, Marcos said that he would only allow the investigators in the Philippines “as tourists.”

As far as Marcos understands, the ICC only needs to intervene in the absence of the judiciary, economic collapse, and war.

Papayagan ko sila rito pero magturista lang sila, dahil ang pagkakaunawa ko, the ICC is there ‘pag walang judiciary na nag-ooperate sa isang bansa, pag may economic collapse, gera, d’yan papasok ang ICC,” he said.

(I will only allow them here as tourists, because as far as I know, the ICC is there if there is no judiciary operating in the country, if there’s economic collapse, war, that’s when the ICC intervenes.)

Furthermore, Marcos insisted that ICC’s presence would be unnecessary since the Philippines has “a functioning judiciary.”

I don’t see the need for a foreigner to come and do the job for us, do the job for our judicial system

“We have a functioning judiciary, and that’s why I don’t see the need for a foreigner to come and do the job for us, do the job for our judicial system, our judicial system perfectly capable of doing that,” Marcos said. “What is their jurisdiction to come here to the Philippines and conduct an investigation? Is that not a violation of our rights as a sovereign nation in the community of nations?”

According to their website, ICC’s mandate is to “act as a court of last resort with the capacity to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes when national jurisdictions for any reason are unable or unwilling to do so.”

ICC alleged Duterte has committed crimes against humanity.

While the Supreme Court (SC) has looked into the drug war, even saying that the government may be responsible for the killings, hearings on the subject are yet to be over.

Marcos has expressed before that he intends to continue but modify the war on drugs, citing the need for drug-use prevention. He has, however, no significant comment on the drug-related killings under the administration, saying that “we will see what the results of those investigations are.”

Labor export

Like father, like son. Marcos is in favor of labor export policy, even seeking to imitate his dictator father’s program.

I propose also that we go back to the old system na pag umuwi yung OFW pag natapos na ang kontrata, that there will be a program of retraining especially for those that will come home and are hoping to go back para sa bagong kontrata,”

I propose also that we go back to the old system

(I propose that we go back to the old system that if an OFW [Overseas Filipino Worker] comes home after their contract ends, there will be a program of retraining especially for those that will come home and are hoping to go back for a new contract.)

Mark Maca, a scholar of Kyushu University, described Marcos Sr.’s labor export policy as one “that ultimately did little to boost domestic economic development” in his analysis – institutionalizing the export of skilled Filipino labor.

Non-filing of income tax

The Marcos camp is insistent that he paid his taxes from 1982 to 1985, after petitioners seeking to junk his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) alleged that he failed to do so.

Marcos indeed paid from 1982 to 1985 a total amount of P67,137.21 as ordered by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15. He was even sentenced by the court to up to nine years prison time. The Marcos camp managed to bring the issue to the Court of Appeals (CA) in 1997, removing the prison sentence.

However, it was paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and not the court.

Former Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio commented on the issue, saying that Marcos should have paid the court, not BIR.

It is a penalty for the crime, not a tax

“The fine should be paid to the court because it is a penalty for the crime, not a tax. The BIR has no authority to accept payment for the fine,” Carpio said. “The deficiency income tax should be paid to the BIR upon order of the court. After payment to the BIR of the deficiency income tax, proof of payment must be submitted to the court.”

Carpio said that this implies that Marcos “has not served his sentence per RTC official records.”

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) eventually sided with the Marcos camp, saying that the 1997 CA ruling “did not categorically hold that respondent is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude nor did it positively pronounce that respondent is meted with the penalty of imprisonment of more than 18 months.”

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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