LACSON: MARCOS REGIME RANSACKED THE PHILIPPINE TREASURY

Never again to martial law

By ROGER M. BALABZA

The massive kleptocracy under the Martial Law Regime of the late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is the horror that Senator Panfilo Lacson could not forget.

“Paano mo makalimutan yong na-ransack yong treasury ng bansa. Pati yong Central Bank, walang kamalaymalay. Wala na palang laman, wala na pala yong reserves natin. Wala na palang pera, kung saan napunta,” said Lacson, one of contenders in the race to Malacanang in the May 9 elections.

Lacson, a former chief of the Philipine National Police (PNP), is up against five other aspirants including Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., son of the dictator who was deposed by the People Power Revolution in 1986 after two decades of ruling the country with an iron hand. 
Ahead of the February 25 anniversary of the declaraton of Martial Law by dictator Marcos, Lacson on Thursday, February 17, shared his memories of the Marcos rule, during the weekly Meet the Press forum.
“Never again to martial law,” Lacson said in the forum also attended by Senator Tito Sotto, his vice president.
Paano natin makalimutan yon. Gusto ba nating mag-undergo uli ng ganon? Dahil sa abuse, nagkaloko-loko yong bansa natin,” Lacson said.

According to Lacson, then a member of the Military Intelligence Security Group (MISG), the first few weeks of Martial Law were okay, but, over time, it was ‘ abused and abused, until it reached the People Power Revolution.”

During the dictator’s regime, Marcos Sr., his family, and his cronies were said to have stole around P300 billion from the government.  The Marcos government was also linked to at least 3,240 killings, 34,000 tortures, and violationof human rights of about 70,000 detainees.

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