ELECTIONS 2022: Marcoleta denies Martial Law abuses, calls EDSA uprising a mistake

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PHILIPPINES - 2022/03/20: SAGIP party-list representative Rodante Marcoleta flashing a V sign to his supporters. The senator is running for a seat in the Senate as a member of Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos Jr's UniTeam. Bongbong Marcos Jr. visits the cities of Navotas and Malabon as part of UniTeam's northern Metro Manila campaign sorties. He is the only son of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former first lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos. BBM, an acronym of Marcos Jr., is eyeing the highest seat of power in the land, the presidency. As he keeps his lead in presidential poll surveys, His dream is to provide unifying leadership to the country if he wins. (Photo by Josefiel Rivera/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
PHILIPPINES - 2022/03/20: SAGIP party-list representative Rodante Marcoleta flashing a V sign to his supporters. The senator is running for a seat in the Senate as a member of Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos Jr's UniTeam. Bongbong Marcos Jr. visits the cities of Navotas and Malabon as part of UniTeam's northern Metro Manila campaign sorties. He is the only son of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former first lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos. BBM, an acronym of Marcos Jr., is eyeing the highest seat of power in the land, the presidency. As he keeps his lead in presidential poll surveys, His dream is to provide unifying leadership to the country if he wins. (Photo by Josefiel Rivera/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Days before the elections that will determine whether or not the country will be in another Marcos-led dictatorship, former senatorial candidate Rodante Marcoleta in a Uniteam event called the facts and evidence against Martial Law an “anomaly” despite blaring evidence.

During the miting de avance of presidential candidate and dictator’s son Bongbong Marcos and tandem Sara Duterte-Carpio in their bailiwick in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Marcoleta called the EDSA uprising a mistake.

Kasinungalingan, isang pagkakamali ang EDSA, (Lies, EDSA was a mistake)” Marcoleta said, gaining no reaction from the crowd.

Meanwhile, several netizens have called out the Deputy House Speaker.

“This is a preview of a Marcos presidency. A blatant denial of the atrocities of martial law, and the people are to simply keep quiet… Goosebumps just thinking about it,” a netizen said.

Martial Law atrocities

The dictatorship of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos, father of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos, is remembered for its record of human rights abuses.

The nine-year military rule ordered by Marcos Sr. in 1972 unleashed crimes under international law and grave human rights violations, including tens of thousands of people arbitrarily arrested and detained, and thousands of others tortured, forcibly disappeared, and killed.

International human rights group Amnesty International documented extensive human rights violations, showing a pattern of widespread arrests and detention, enforced disappearances, killings and torture of people that were critical of the government or perceived as political opponents during Marcos’ term.

Other civil society organizations such as Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, the International Commission of Jurists, the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights, and the Foundation for Worldwide People Power have also documented similar crimes under international law and human rights violations.

Groups and historians believe that the Marcos dictatorship has 3,257 known extrajudicial killings, 35,000 documented tortures, and 77 desaparecidos or people forcibly disappeared.

Various efforts to make Martial Law information accessible have been launched through the years, including the Martial Law Museum, Martial Law Chronicles Project, and the Bantayog ng mga Bayani.

However, the camp of the presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos has been repeatedly suspected of having funded troll farms to erase history.

Recently, a Filipino-American group called US Filipinos for Good Governance (USFGG) launched a website called Troll Exposer that identified 102 trolls using public data and artificial intelligence.

The group has identified different types of trolls through their sharing and commenting behavior: distribution trolls, who share content from a single source page to multiple pages; commenting trolls, who flood posts with comments to increase their perceived popularity; and fake accounts that fill their profiles with Marcos content.

While Marcos Jr. has repeatedly denied the existence of trolls, multiple international reports still continue to investigate the massive disinformation campaign by his camp.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom.

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