If the son or daughter does the sins of the father or mother, the son or daughter also sins. That is the true meaning of the oft-quoted “sin of the father, sin of the son” reference lifted from the Bible.
It was revoked conveniently by trolls, spread to social media so that many of the supporters of Bongbong Marcos use the line to say he is acquitted of his father’s crimes. The application of that line on Marcos Jr. is dishonest.
Interestingly, that logic admits that the father has sinned. The biblical line, however, actually means that the son can only be innocent or blameless from the sin of his father if he himself does not do the same sins. It does not apply hence to Marcos Jr. He was officially named as heir in Swiss bank documents. He has appeared in court several times to defend his family’s ill-gotten wealth. And he was known to Switzerland state banking authorities to have made a phone call in March 1986 to inform them that the family was sending an agent to withdraw 213 million US$. In short, he is an accomplice to the sins of his father and mother.
In God’s own timing in the campaign homestretch came two confessions that exactly repudiate that false use of a biblical line by troll armies. Two very intimate confessions of children of parents who had supported and are now supporting the Marcoses and the Dutertes in this election campaign have come out in public. Both are fine examples of the operative function of that biblical line. Both denounce the sins of their parents, exactly fitting to a T what the biblical line exhorts: that the children can only be acquitted if they themselves do not do the sins of their parents.
Before she had come out publicly, no one knew Wanna Ver. She is the youngest daughter of top Marcos henchman Fabian Ver from his second family. Ver the father was not just ordinary apparatchik in the Marcos hierarchy. He was the dictator’s childhood friend in Ilocos. He was chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, head of the National Intelligence and Security Authority and was one of those responsible for the architecture of atrocities committed under Marcos martial law. Some of those atrocities must be enumerated: extrajudicial killings, torture, disappearances, and military abuse in several forms. History is now written so that Fabian Ver’s name will always be juxtaposed to the thousands who fell victims under the Marcos dictatorship.
When the conjugal dictators, their children and grandchildren, and their cronies like Eduardo Cojuangco fled the peoples’ wrath to the confines of Hawaii that evening of February 25, 1986, Ver and his wife Aida with their children and their families joined the escape. Wanna, however, was exiled to Hongkong with her mother Edna Camcam.
The story of her conversion came totally unexpected. By a stroke of a very unanticipated divine intervention, Wanna encountered martial law victims that altered her sense of history of the Marcos martial law and of her father. That is very astonishing. The proverbial blood is thicker than water.
Readers are invited to study and read her story that has been shared to several media. Her published account, bylined by her, is in the Washington Post. The same account is found in the website of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. A Spanish language magazine in Europe, Tribuna Libre, has likewise published it. Rappler and several news dailies have also published it. There is even a short teaser about it in YouTube attributed to her.
The message she writes is very disturbing and candid: “Marcos Jr. has not apologized for his father’s sins. On the contrary, he champions what he says are his father’s great contributions to the Philippines. Loyalists often ask for survivors to forgive and forget, but our deeply Catholic country knows forgiveness only occurs after confession, penance and restitution. Filipinos cannot move on because they have failed to listen to each other, to acknowledge and account for the sins of the past.”
“It would be easier to keep quiet, but silence is what has allowed the revision of history and denial of people’s testimonies.” Wanna Ver has co-founded Kapwa Pilipinas, an organization focused on cultivating reconciliation for the survivors of martial law under the Marcos dictatorship.”
Just as Wanna Ver’s name became household, a very enraged letter written by the son of senatorial candidate Loren Legarda shook the Philippines. Despite Lorenzo Legarda Leviste’s hurtful language, not a few heaved a sigh of relief. Legarda is best remembered as having supported the disenfranchisement of her former television network where she began her anchor career, ABS CBN. That was seen as the height of betrayal and her complete reversal as a dirty transactional politician. Gideon Javier, son of the martial law martyr Evelio Javier, revealed in his social media account that in Antique province, “Loren scholars” who are supporting a presidential candidate other than Bongbong Marcos are being threatened to have their scholarships cut off.
Before the week passed came another surprise – the social media post of Robyn Remulla, daughter of Cavite governor Jonvic Remulla. “I, Robyn Remulla, UP Law 2023, express my full support for the candidacy of VP Leni Robredo for President and her running mate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan for Vice President.” The infamous Remulla household, with several members in politics, and openly campaigning for the return of another Marcos, must have been shaken by a thunderbolt.
When children of enablers publicly come out to repudiate the politics of their parents, it is because they know who the real enemy is: trapo politics, dynasties that bleed the country dry because of the vicious cycle of corruption it generates, petty tyrants who resort to extrajudicial killings using state security forces, impunity, vendetta to critics. Wanna, Lorenzo, and Robyn are part of the hope inspiring the voting public on Monday May 9. They do not want to be enablers like their parents. On Monday, many of us will stand on their shoulders.