MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr believes the Aquinos were behind a recent gathering at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB), where thousands of Marcos loyalists were promised a share from the family’s ill-gotten wealth.
During a forum at the Kamuning Bakery Cafe on Thursday, October 5, Marcos said the UPLB gathering is a “classic [example of] fake news” against his family, reiterating that they had nothing to do with the event. (READ: Bongbong Marcos: ‘My family has been suffering from fake news’)
He believes it was organized by the Marcoses’ critics to tarnish their name.
“Itong nangyari sa UPLB is well-organized, is well-funded. Palagay ko mayroon talagang gumagalaw. Paninira talaga sa amin 'yon. 'Yan ang talagang fake news. That is the fake news, because may biktima,” said Marcos. (What happened in UPLB was well-organized, well-funded. I think someone really operated behind it. It was a way to discredit us. That is fake news because there were victims.)
“Binibiktima nila ang mga supporters ng Marcos, binibiktima nila 'yong mga matatanda, 'yong mga umaasa na meron silang makuha, at nangangako sila ng kung anu-ano (They victimized the supporters of the Marcoses, they victimized the elderly, the people who were hopeful they would get something during the event). That is the perfect example of fake news and that is being used for political purposes,” he added.
Marcos was at first hesitant to name who he believes had organized the UPLB gathering and merely hinted on it.
“Sino in the past I don’t know how many years ang walang ginawa kung 'di sirain, gustong sirain ang mga pangalan ng mga Marcos? Sino 'yong may pera ang gumastos na ganyan? (Who in the past years had nothing to do except destroy the names of the Marcoses? Who has the money to spend for events like that?) Who has the political [capability] to pull that kind of thing off? And who will have an interest in doing that?” asked Marcoses.
But pressed further and asked if he believes the Aquino family was behind the event, Marcos replied: “Well I’m sure they have something to do with it.”
The Marcoses and the Aquinos have long been political rivals. The late strongman and family patriarch Ferdinand Marcos counted former senator Benigno Aquino Jr as his staunchest critic. Aquino was assassinated at the Manila International Airport – now named after him – on August 21, 1983.
Relatives of the elder Aquino, including his son and former president Benigno Aquino III as well as Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, are known opposers of the abuses against Martial Law.
The Aquinos are also stalwarts of the Liberal Party (LP), whose chairperson is now Vice President Leni Robredo, a known critic of the Marcos regime as well.