Senator Risa Hontiveros hit President Rodrigo Duterte for giving the go signal for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’s hero’s burial, a few days after he pointed fingers at the oligarchs for destroying the Philippines.
“For someone who publicly disapproves of oligarchs, President Duterte’s decision to give the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial is the height of contradiction,” Hontiveros said.
She said honoring Marcos is like honoring the creator of oligarchy.
“President Duterte cannot end the run of oligarchs in the country by honoring the very man who created a crony oligarchy during Martial Law,” Hontiveros added.
On August 3, in his speech at the Palace, Duterte named tycoon Roberto Ongpin as one of the oligarchs his administration wants to destroy after they made money out of the poor’s suffering.
“Ang plano talaga is to destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government,” Duterte said.
While referring to Ongpin, he said “Malakas kay Marcos noon, trade minister, I think. Malakas sa succession. [During] Ramos he was a hanger on and kay Gloria [Arroyo], PNoy. Now he owns the online [gambling],” he added.
In his speech before the soldiers at the Camp Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu on August 5, he named another oligarch – Eric Guitierrez, a mining company owner and an ally of Mar Roxas.
“Kayong mga manloloko sa Pilipino ang mga oligarch. Kayong mga Pilipinong hindi nagbabayad ng buwis,” Duterte said.
According to an article published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer to commemorate Martial Law, former Senate President Jovito Salonga said that the Marcoses started dipping their hands into the country’s coffers two years into Marcos’ presidency, starting with Imelda’s use of intelligence funds to fund her foreign trips and hide part of the money in Swiss banks.
The article covered Salonga’s book, “Presidential Plunder: The Quest for the Marcos Ill-gotten Wealth.”
Salonga said that the Marcoses’ modus operandi was to develop monopolies in important industries and letting their cronies or associates control them, such as how Eduardo Cojuangco controlled the coconut industry or how Roberto Benedicto monopolized the sugar industry.
Another trick was to let Marcos’ cronies take over large private or public enterprises.