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Martial law icons, kin dominate 4th day of COC filing

MANILA – The fourth day of the filing of candidacy seemed like a martial law deja vu as key players during the authoritarian regime of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos trooped to the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, Tuesday to formalize their bids for the 2019 midterm elections.

Marcos’ daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos briefly shared the stage with De La Salle University College of Law founding dean Chel Diokno, son of martial law victim, former Senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno as they filed their certificates of candidacy next to each other.

Marcos said she does not know who Diokno is.

“Pasensya na, matagal na akong napako sa probinsya, hindi ko kilala,” she said when asked about how she felt sitting near the son of her father’s political nemesis.

The Diokno patriarch was incarcerated for 2 years during Marcos’ military rule. No charges were filed against him.

The short encounter seemed like a replay of history, Diokno told reporters: “Parang naulit lang ang kasaysayan. Let’s bring it on and see what will happen.”

Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the late strongman’s Defense minister and alleged architect of the declaration of martial law, also filed his certificate of candidacy through his lawyer Joseph Sagandoy.

The 94-year old lawmaker’s bid for a Senate comeback was marred with a gaffe after his election document showed that he was currently a “business woman.”

Enrile’s camp corrected the mistake after photos of the blunder circulated online.

Bam Aquino, a nephew of slain opposition Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., filed his election document hours before Diokno; while Erin Tañada, grandson of Marcos critic former Senator Lorenzo Tañada, filed his senatorial bid minutes after the law dean.

The slain Aquino and the late senator Tañada are in the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, a memorial wall meant to honor “individuals who lived and died in defiance of the repressive regime that ruled over the Philippines from 1972 to 1986.”

Former Senator Mar Roxas, son of Liberal Party stalwart and Marcos critic Gerry Roxas, also filed his candidacy.

Other candidates who filed their certificates of candidacy at the Comelec on the fourth day of filing were former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Pia Cayetano, who are both gunning for a Senate comeback.