MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte's own former anti-poverty commission secretary thinks the promise of "real change" is empty if "old forces" like the Marcoses are given a chance to return to power.
"I think change cannot happen if the old forces are consolidating their own position in government. These are the Marcoses, the forces of fascism, the forces of corruption," Maza said on Tuesday, August 21 in her Rappler Talk interview.
She also mentioned former president and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who her partylist, Makabayan, had filed charges against for alleged corruption.
"As long as the defenders of elite interests and foreign interests are in place, it's very difficult, it's almost impossible to attain the changes that we want," Maza said.
She recalled the "repression, human rights violations, and corruption" during the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
"Definitely, it is worrisome because the problem with the Marcoses is they haven't really accepted the historical crimes that their father committed.... If you keep on justifying and erasing history, the memory of that period, so how can you rectify it?" Maza added.
The possible return of the Marcoses to power, possibly with some help from President Duterte himself, was among the reasons she decided to resign as head of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
On the same day as the Rappler interview, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos told critics of her family to "move on" from the atrocities committed under her father's martial law.
She drew flak for the remark. Her brother, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, defended her, saying cases were filed against members of the family. "Ano pa ang gustong ninyong gawin? (What else do you want us to do?)" he asked.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.