Isko sees backlash vs Marcoses as family feud, but vows rule of law for atrocities

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Presidential aspirants Leni Robredo, Isko Moreno, Bongbong Marcos

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 13) — Presidential aspirant Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, criticized for being neutral on the dictatorship of late President Ferdinand Marcos, said Wednesday that Filipinos are being dragged into "family feuds" in the lead up to the 2022 elections.

As he enters the presidential race against former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., Vice President Leni Robredo, and other aspirants, he said the public should be more discerning because there will be a smokescreen to confuse the voters as the May 2022 polls near.

"Nakita ko kasi nagiging paulit-ulit iyong issue ng away ng pulitika ng mga pamilya tuwing may halalalan," he said in a media forum when asked for his response to appeals for him to work with Robredo to beat Marcos.

"Para bang we are being dragged backwards by this situation again and again... We have to move forward. The real enemy is COVID-19, plus dadagdagan mo pa ng pulitika at away pamilya," he added.

[Translation: I see the political feud between families repeatedly brought up every election. It's like we are being dragged backwards. We have to move forward. COVID-19 is the real enemy, then they're adding politics and family feud.]

He was earlier quoted as saying he admired the ousted tyrant "at some point" as a visionary, but that he is against the abuses committed during Marcos' 20-year rule.

Robredo earlier said Moreno's questionable stand on the Marcoses was a factor why she decided to run. She said talks with Moreno to unify the opposition bogged down because the Marcos issues is one she is not willing to go soft on. She also previously said one of her considerations for running is to block the return of a Marcos to Malacañang.

Robredo earlier said the late dictator has not been held fully accountable for his crimes, and his clan continues to benefit from the money they stole from Filipinos.

While Moreno believes the reign of the ousted strongman had some successes worth emulating, he said those who committed abuses and stole from the coffers of the nation will be dealt with by the law.

"We don't forget what happened in the past. We will always remember their mistakes and successes. Their successes, we will duplicate and innovate. Papanagutin natin sila sa mata ng batas, hindi sa kapritso lamang ng pangulo," he said.

[Translation: We will make them pay under the law, not just based on the whims of a president.]

He said Filipinos should learn to forgive but not forget — using the analogy that worse crimes were committed during the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945, but Filipinos were able to get past it.

"Let's heal. Ang dami nang umabuso sa bansa natin. Mas mabigat pa ang ginawa sa atin, pinatay ang mga lolo at lola natin ng mga Hapon pero nakuha natin silang patawarin. Nag-move on tayo, but we will not forget so we will not make the same mistakes later on," he said.

[Translation: So many have abused us in the past. Worse crimes were committed by the Japanese against our grandparent, but we were able to forgive. We moved on but we will not forget about it so we don't make the same mistakes.]