For Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the gloves are off, and the target of his latest verbal attack was fellow presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

Late last week, Pacquiao belittled the claims of Marcos that he was not aware of what was happening during the martial law era of his father.

Pacquiao said, “he cannot say he did not know anything.”

Now 64, Marcos was a young adult when his family was forced out of the country by virtue of the EDSA ‘People Power’ Revolt of 1986. He was even governor of their home province of Ilocos Norte at the time of their forced exit from the country.

In his last public address before leaving, President Marcos stood at the balcony of Malacañangwith his wife and his only son, who was conspicuously donning a military outfit.

It can be noted that Marcos Jr. held the rank of 2nd Lieutenant after attending a two-week Special Forces training course, which Armed Forces of the Philippines officials later said was nothing more than a publicity stunt. His record has since been expunged from the AFP.

Pacquiao also chastised the former senator and namesake of the late dictator for refusing to apologize for his father’s sins, and for having billions of dollars in unexplained wealth.

That stolen wealth should be returned to the country, according to the boxer-turned-politician.

While the now disbanded Presidential Commission on Good Government was able to retrieve some US$500 million from the Marcoses’ Swiss bank accounts, hundreds of millions more are believed to remain hidden in various accounts all over the world.

In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that the Marcos family had to return US$658 million hidden in front organizations and foundations.

On a few occasions, Marcos Jr. had implied that the source of his family’s great wealth was the fabled Yamashita’s treasure that his father had allegedly acquired after World War ll. His mother,former first lady Imelda Marcos, has also said the same thing but no proof has ever been offered.

Before returning their stolen wealth, Pacquiao said the Marcos family should also apologize to the Filipino people.

“Anyone who makes a mistake should apologize,” Pacquiao said in an interview with local media. He credited the social media campaign of the Marcos camp for his popularity but Pacquiao added that his opponent’s “true character” had not yet been fully revealed.

Among the other charges facing Marcos Jr. was his false claim of having earned a diploma at Oxford University in England, where he studied for seven years.

The university has publicly stated that they have no record of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earning any degree from them.

Also, Marcos Jr. had a six-year term that was largely forgettable, as he was only able to sponsor and pass one bill considered as insignificant. That bill that became law only changed the date of a local election.

If elected president next year, Pacquiao said he would review all the records related to the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family.

The camp of Marcos Jr. has not replied to Pacquiao’s attacks as of press time.

Pacquiao had previously taken a friendly stance with the Marcoses, even supporting the burial of the remains of the late dictator at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

He had also been supportive of the Duterte administration – which is closely allied with the Marcoses — and favored the killings of suspected drug pushers and users that has caused the Philippine president to face mass murder charges before the International Criminal Court.

Marcos Jr. was 15 years old when his father declared martial law in 1972. He then served as vice-governor and later governor of Ilocos Norte until their exit from the country. His sister Imee is an incumbent senator of the republic.

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