Filipino torture victims vow to derail Marcos campaign

Filipino torture victims vow to derail Marcos campaign

Manila - Angry victims of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos vowed on Monday to derail his son's vice-presidential bid as they demanded long-delayed retribution.

Hundreds who endured torture and imprisonment during Marcos' two-decade reign gathered in Manila chanting "No More Marcos! Marcos Dictator!" as they announced plans to dog Ferdinand Marcos Jnr's electoral effort.

"We will hound his campaign," the group's convenor, torture victim Bonifacio Ilagan told AFP.

"He will redeem the family, rewrite history and bring back his father's abusive leadership framework."

Human rights groups say tens of thousands of people were murdered, tortured and imprisoned during Marcos' tumultuous rule.

The government estimates Marcos and his family stole $10 billion from the already desperately-poor country during his rule.

The group Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang or CARMMA, said Marcos Jnr was not the "guiltless son" that he claimed to be.

Opinion polls give Marcos Jnr -- known as Bongbong -- the lead in the vice-presidential race, three months before the May 9 general elections.

The president and vice president are elected separately in the Philippines, each serving a single six-year term.

The 58-year-old, an incumbent senator, denies his family stole from government coffers and insists his father's rule was one of peace and progress.

Victory in the elections will cement a remarkable political comeback for the Marcos family, who held mostly local positions in their home provinces until Bongbong won a seat in the national Senate in 2010.

The family's flamboyant matriarch, former first lady Imelda Marcos -- who was famously found to have amassed hundreds of pairs of shoes while her husband was in power -- has made no secret of her desire for her son to become president.

Marcos Jnr is trumpeting his father's infrastructure achievements to a young electorate that has no firsthand experience of the brutality of martial law.

In a glossy Internet video, he proclaims "I am not my past. We are the future".

The Marcos family fled to exile in Hawaii after being ousted by a military-backed popular revolt in 1986. Marcos Snr died three years later.

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