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Neri to Imee: Let’s debate at Plaza Miranda

Makabayan senatorial bet Neri Colmenares challenged Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos to a debate at Plaza Miranda on the issue of human rights violations during Ferdinand Marcos’ iron-fisted rule.

Angered at Imee’s statement that reports of human rights violations during Martial rule were just ‘political accusations’, Colmenares said he himself was tortured and imprisoned as one of the youngest political detainees during the Marcos eara.

“I was tortured and imprisoned for four years during martial rule for merely espousing the return of student councils,” Colmenares said.

“[I]f Gov. Marcos will insist that the human rights violations during her father’s regime are mere political accusations then I challenge her to a debate on the topic in Plaza Miranda,” added Colmenares.

After filing her certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections Tuesday, Imee said her entire family would never admit to human rights violations committed during the late strongman’s martial rule.

“If what they demand from us is admission, I think we could not do that. Why would we admit to something we did not do?” Imee said in Filipino.

Colmenares said Imee and her entire family are blatantly lying about the atrocities under the Marcosian martial law.

“[T}he Philippine government itself recognizes thousands of human rights violations under Martial rule by enacting Republic Act No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation & Recognition Act of 2013. With this law Marcos human rights victims are recognized and indemnified from the US$ 650 million ill gotten wealth returned by Swiss banks,” he said.

“Even the Supreme Court in Marcos vs Manglapus and many other decisions declared Marcos dictator and human rights violator and ordered the return of ill gotten wealth,” he added.

Before and during the first years of Marcos’s rule as president and strongman, Plaza Miranda was the country’s most popular site for debates and political events. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)