THE INCOMING chief of the presidential office’s communications team on Tuesday said facts about the Martial Law regime of President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s late father should be open to debate.
“Martial law is a mine field by itself… Why don’t we allow a discourse?” Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles, incoming secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
“I think everything should be open to debate, even scientific theories and established facts are always open to questions,” she added.
More than 70,000 people were jailed, about 34,000 were tortured, and more than 3,000 people died under more than two decades of martial rule in the Philippines, according to Amnesty International.
The Marcoses have been accused of living lavishly in the Philippine presidential palace while Filipinos suffered from a collapsing economy, which declined by 7.3% in 1984 and 1985.
Ms. Cruz-Angeles earlier backtracked on her stance against the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at a heroes’ cemetery, saying she has changed her views on the family.
Ms. Cruz-Angeles said the PCOO under her leadership would propose a formal discussion on “what constitutes misinformation and disinformation.”
“What we are proposing is to bring a discussion on what constitutes misinformation, disinformation,” she said in mixed Filipino and English. “In fact, fact checking what constitutes fake news.”
Ms. Cruz-Angeles, who is set to speak on behalf of Mr. Marcos in most cases, said it would be hard to determine “what facts are unassailable and what ideas need further discourse.”
“Some ideas need discourse while some needs further investigation,” she said.
“Sometimes that expression includes a question,” she added. “The point of the matter is to allow discourse and that is what free speech is about.”
Ms. Cruz-Angeles, meanwhile, said Mr. Marcos will not have an official spokesperson.
“According to him, he himself will face the media,” she said. “We don’t know yet how often, but I think there are some issues where he prefers to deal with himself.
“For the rest, what we’re doing is to bring out the information, provide the clarification.”
During the campaign season, Mr. Marcos Jr. did not participate in major presidential debates, which experts said were necessary to determine the stances of candidates on key issues. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza