SELDA's statement on the petition to cancel Bongbong Marcos' presidential bid

SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) welcomes the petition of different human rights groups filed at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., which would disqualify him as candidate in the 2022 presidential elections.

As an organization of former political prisoners, majority of whom were those arrested, incarcerated and tortured under Marcos’ martial law, we support all efforts against the return of the Marcoses to Malacanang. Marcos Jr. is not qualified to be a candidate for public office in the first place.

To stop Marcos Jr. from running for president is to uphold justice and accountability for the Filipino people. His conviction for repeated cases of tax evasion were upheld from the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in 1995 all the way to the Court of Appeals. He obviously had no intention to disclose this information when he filed his COC as presidential candidate, what more in admitting he is perpetually disqualified from holding any public office?

Marcos Jr. have shamelessly denied his involvement and participation in crimes committed under the conjugal dictatorship of his parents — human rights abuses, corruption, amassing of ill-gotten wealth, among others — despite their family’s clear complicity in these transgressions. His conviction for tax evasion, however, are not only crimes of his own doing, but also another proof that Marcos Jr. is no innocent boy under the Marcos dictatorship. His being charged of tax evasion while being a government official is also not a simple case of complacency or negligence.

Marcos Jr. has been lying to his teeth for almost 30 years since this case has been decided upon, in the same callous manner how he and his family has covered up for all their ill-gotten wealth, and at the same time, refusal to pay estate taxes amounting up to PhP203.8 billion.

By claiming that this petition for disqualification is a propaganda or politicking also goes to show that Marcos Jr. still believes their family can always get away with their crimes. Marcos Jr. insults and mocks the many generations of victims who suffered from rights violations under Marcos, and the Filipino people who suffered for decades of grinding poverty, corruption and plunder of the nation’s coffers. The present generation does not deserve another Marcos in power. We all do not deserve, and need, Marcos, Jr.

A liar, a tax evader, a family of plunderers. Not presidentiable. Not president. In the name of persistently hard-earned justice, accountability and truth, we urge the COMELEC to fulfill their mandate and decide to disqualify Marcos Jr.

Danilo Dela Fuente
SELDA Vice Chairperson