Roxas, Robredo visit Aquino-Diokno Memorial a day before #EDSA30

Before campaigning in Nueva Ecija, administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo visit the Aquino-Diokno Memorial in Laur.

The place used to be the facility where Senators Ninoy Aquino and Jose W. Diokno were detained.

Bea Cupin reports. - Rappler.com

A day before the country commemorates 30 years since it toppled a dictator, the presidential and vice president bets of the ruling Liberal Party visit the detention center where Senators Ninoy Aquino and Jose W. Diokno were once detained for over a month.

Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo, LP stalwarts vying for the top posts in the land, visit the Aquino-Diokno Memorial in Laur, Nueva Ecija, ahead of a series of sorties in the vote rich province.

They’re toured by Cely, who cooked meals for the detained senators and the soldiers stationed here.

It is 2016. Much has changed and yet many remain the same. The Marcoses, forced to leave the country after the 1986 revolution, are back in power.

The dictator’s namesake, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is one of Robredo’s rivals for the vice presidency.

MAR ROXAS, ADMINISTRATION STANDARD-BEARER: Whether Senator Marcos shrugs it off or not, the important thing here is for the country to remember. Thousands were lost. Thousands died.

RAPPLER: Who's to blame?

MAR ROXAS, ADMINISTRATION STANDARD-BEARER: We, ourselves. There’s a saying that if you don’t look back to where you came from, you won’t reach your destination. If we forget our past, we’re bound to get lost, confused, fooled.

Online and offline, there’s a fierce debate over the legacy of the Marcoses and that of the EDSA revolution. A growing group – Senator Marcos included – say the revolution disrupted plans the late dictator had in place.

LENI ROBREDO, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It’s easy to say that but look at the data. Let’s look at the data on where we were during Martial Law and where we are today. When we were under a dictatorship, all our indicators dropped.

For Roxas, Robredo and the ruling Liberal Party, the 2016 elections is not just about cinching the presidency and the vice presidency.

It’s reminding a nation of ups, down, and continuing struggles of a young democracy.

A reminder that if we were still under Martial Law, this report might not make it online.

Bea Cupin, Rappler, Nueva Ecija.