Based on recent surveys conducted separately by pollsters Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations, Senator Bongbong Marcos is locked in what is turning out to be a close three-way race for the Vice Presidency against fellow Senator Francis Escudero and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
It can be recalled that Escudero ended 2015 as the clear front runner, when he led his rivals by at least 11 points. By February, Marcos was already able to tie the score. His surge obviously prompted victims of the human rights violations during Martial Law and anti-Marcos critics to make their presence felt again.
For example, President Benigno Aquino III used his speech during the 30th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution last month to attack the Marcos family. Meanwhile, veteran journalist Raissa Robles will release this week a book titled “Marcos Martial Law: Never Again.”
In the face of these unrelenting attacks, Marcos’ poll numbers are still unchanged. Why is that so? One reason is that Marcos is perhaps the most qualified among those running for vice president. Apart from his nine years as a legislator (Congressman from 2007 to 2010 and Senator since 2010), he is the only one who can boast of having executive experience when he successfully ran Ilocos Norte from 1998 to 2007.
This may sound insensitive for the victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law years, but it will not be inaccurate to surmise that for those who say they will vote for Marcos, focusing on what happened during the 1970s and 1980s won’t help us solve the challenges of 2016 and beyond. In other words, there are more relevant issues that must be addressed.As a final point, it must be stressed here that it’s been thirty years since Ferdinand Marcos was ousted from power. There has been five president since then, and two of them were Aquinos. During those three decades, one can’t help but wonder why the human rights cases against the Marcoses did not flourish despite the solid evidences against them.