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Senator Leila De Lima has taken a swipe at Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III for saying the bill declaring September 11 a holiday in Ilocos Norte to honor the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos would breeze through in the Senate.

In a statement Saturday (September 5), De Lima said bills involving past presidents “always has national significance.”

“Treating House Bill No. 7137 on the Ferdinand Marcos Day as fait accompli for being a local bill and merely having local application is an act of cowardice that glosses over a dark part of our history and blots out the memory of an entire generation that suffered at the hands of an ignominious dictator,” she said.

Sotto earlier said the bill, which the House of Representatives recently passed on third and final reading, will likely be approved by Senate because it is local in scope.

De Lima, however, said there’s nothing worth commemorating about Marcos’ birthday.

“To commemorate a public figure is to venerate or emulate his exemplary qualities. Ano ang tutularan sa isang diktador? Ang mang-abuso, magnakaw at pumatay?” she asked.

De Lima said it was also a “shame” to Ilocanos if Marcos will be memorialized through a holiday despite his tyranny.

“The opportunist move of distorting history achieves nothing but to further add insult to injury, to further offend and abuse the memories of the generation that survived the Marcos tyranny, and ignite people’s pent-up fury. Wrong move!” she said.

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