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Former socioeconomic planning secretary Winnie Monsod strongly opposes the bill declaring September 11 a holiday in Ilocos Norte to celebrate the birthday of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In her September 5 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Monsod said the Philippines will become the “laughingstock of the world” if House Bill 7137 becomes a law. The bill was already passed on third reading in the House of Representatives.

“We not only will be the laughingstock of the world, which held us in the highest respect when we overthrew the dictator peacefully and became a role model for all other similar movements to follow, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, but we will also have pissed on the face of Ninoy Aquino and all the victims of martial law, as well as on our faces—the victims of Marcos’ plunder—for which we had to suffer for almost 16 years before we could regain our former per capita income,” Monsod said.

An economics professor at the University of the Philippines, Monsod said a holiday for Marcos is also “an insult to Ilocanos.”

“So, the dictator Marcos did a lot for Ilocos while he was president. Does that more than compensate for what evil he wreaked on the Filipino people? The Ilocanos are not dumb. And I am sure they are Filipinos first,” she said.

Monsod said the bill cannot be treated solely as a bill of local application– as argued by Senate President Vicente Sotto III– because it has national consequences.

“He (Marcos) did much more harm to the Philippines than the good he may have accomplished,” she said.

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