Erap, Duterte, Gloria, Imelda

Below is a unity statement of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (Carmma) released on Human Rights Day 2021.

We deplore the brazen plot of the Marcos family to return to Malacañang — almost 50 years after the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and plunged the nation into the dark and brutal abyss of fascist dictatorship, and 35 years after the Filipino people ousted them in the 1986 EDSA Uprising.

The bid of Marcos Jr. to become president in 2022 in tandem with Sara Duterte, along with their alliance with the Arroyos and the Estradas, displays how the most corrupt and despotic political dynasties in the Philippines have come together to control political and economic power, to continue to oppress and exploit the people, and to evade accountability and punishment for their crimes.

To this day, the Marcoses deny these crimes as they disseminate lies and historical distortions through a massive machinery funded by their ill-gotten wealth. They portray the despotic Marcos dynasty as a benevolent messiah that “saved” the nation from destruction; and their 21-year reign — 14 years under martial law — as a “golden age.” However, academic studies, historical data, and the conviction of the Marcoses in various criminal cases disprove these lies.

On September 22, 1992, the United States Federal Court issued its judgement in favor of the class action suit filed by martial law victims against the Marcos estate. The late dictator was found guilty of gross human rights violations, and the Marcos estate liable to indemnify the victims. In the Philippines, the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 officially recognized the thousands of victims of systematic and gross human rights violations of the Marcos dictatorship.

The government has recovered P174B of the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth since 1986 while P125.9B are yet to be recovered. The Marcoses are said to have embezzled around US$5B to US$10B. In 2018, the Sandiganbayan found Imelda Marcos guilty of seven counts of graft for maintaining secret Swiss bank accounts for fraudulent foundations to which she funneled at least $352 million. Marcos Jr. and his siblings were named as beneficiaries in these accounts.

The rampant corruption, debt-driven infrastructure projects, and lavish lifestyle of the Marcoses and their cronies buried the country in P28.26B of external debt. The Marcos dictatorship plunged the country’s economy into recession and crisis. Filipinos suffered and perished from joblessness, homelessness, and hunger while the Marcoses thrived in their open rule of state terror, violence, and repression.

In 1997, Marcos Jr. was found guilty and convicted for violating the National Internal Revenue Code, making him inelligible to run for any government post.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo R. Duterte keeps to the blueprint of the Marcos tyrannical, corrupt, and antipeople rule. He continues to revive the worst horrors of Marcos’s martial rule through killings, illegal arrests, enforced disappearances, torture and other acts of impunity perpetrated by the military and police.

He has consistently honored his alliance with the Marcoses by declaring Ferdinand Marcos as a hero, saving Imelda Marcos from jail despite her graft conviction, and letting Imee and Bongbong Marcos hold on to power in Ilocos and live happily ever after.

Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte will definitely ensure a continuity of their fathers’ corrupt, ineffectual, antipeople, foreign-controlled, murderous, and repressive policies and programs. Their antipeople rule will be characterized by impunity, militarism, and human rights violations. Such transgressions will be even more blatant and brutal than they are now.

A victory in 2022 of the son and daughter of these two tyrants along with their alliance with these despotic political dynasties only spells doom for our people. However, the coming elections also open an opportunity for us to fight back against four dynasties — the Marcoses, the Dutertes, the Arroyos, and the Estradas — if not finally put an end to their dynastic rule in the country.

With the people united, their days are counted, and ultimately the people will take the power that rightfully belongs to us.

We stand with all Filipinos in rejecting a Marcos restoration and a Duterte extension. Let us support the petitions filed against the candidacy of Marcos Jr. in the 2022 national elections. We do not deserve a thief, a liar, and a convicted tax evader as president — Marcos Jr. Neither do we deserve his running mate — Sara Duterte — who is a clone of her tyrant and hateful father.

Let us unite to uphold our hard-won rights and freedoms, and to hold the Marcoses and the Dutertes accountable for their crimes against the Filipino people.

Never forget the horrors and atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship and Duterte murderous regime! Never again to martial law and fascist rule! No to Marcos and Duterte in 2022!


Prof. Judy Taguiwalo
Former Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and martial law survivor

Saturnino Ocampo
Columnist, former legislator, and
martial law survivor

Edita Burgos
Martial law survivor and mother of disappeared activist Jonas Joseph Burgos

Dr. Erlinda Senturias
Former Human Rights Victims Claims Board member

Bonifacio Ilagan
Martial law survivor and playwright

Joanna Kintanar Cariño
Indigenous rights advocate and
martial law survivor

Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III
Former legislator

Abdulmari Toym de Leon Imao, Jr.
Multimedia artist

Alfonso Manalastas
Spoken word artist

Germaine Jalandoni De Ruña
Rural development worker

Kris Lanot-Lacaba

Dr. Mabel Samaniego

Chiles Samaniego

Sonia Capio

Fr. Benjamin Alforque, MSC
Martial law survivor

Maria Victoria “Mags” Maglana
Development worker and Davao City First District congressional candidate

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