A US-based son of Loren Legarda – widely favored to be one of the front runners in this week’s senate race – last week let loose his pent-up anger at his mother, whom he said was “endorsing fascists” by joining the camp of presidential bet Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In a public letter to his mother, Lorenzo Legarda Leviste said he had been “crying every day, screaming every day until I spat out blood.”
His mother’s decision was “profoundly unthinkable, unconscionable, unforgivable,” said Leviste, Loren Legarda’s son by former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste.
“In the last month, my entire life has collapsed. It is beyond a nightmare. I still cannot believe it and will never be able to accept it,” said the 32-year-old Leviste, who has been living in the US since he was 18 and who has not seen his mother for half a decade.
His open letter first came out in the online news site Rappler, and was quickly picked up by print and broadcast media.
Lorenzo’s letter took aim at the martial law regime of the father of Marcos, Jr., who was a dictator with absolute powers for two decades, until the family was ousted following the People Power Revolution of 1986.
Saying he was “paralyzed in pain” at his mother’s decision to run with Marcos Jr., Lorenzo said he had no choice but to publicly declare that he was “absolutely disgusted” by what his mother decided to do.
“It sickens me and makes me want to die,” he said, adding that he wanted the world to know that “Loren Legarda has lost her son forever.”
In tying her fortunes to Marcos Jr., Leviste said of Legarda, “In the words of a wise woman: I don’t know her.”
He then said that he refused “the normalization of fascistic state thuggery, of lies as alternate truth, of the country’s sorry history of being rewritten as fable.”
When Loren asked Lorenzo, “So I am on their ticket. Does that make me a fascist?” the young man said he was aghast that for his mother it was just another election year.
“There is no understanding that another Marcos presidency would mean the end of everything for the Philippines,” he said.
The litany of Marcos crimes is not something to be debated, he said, adding that “their atrocities are fact.”
Lorenzo said his mother spits in the faces of the people “whose lives and families have been destroyed by the Marcoses and the Dutertes.”
Lorenzo ended his letter by saying he was in utter grief. He said: “F*** my mother for abetting this. Their crimes are her crimes now. Make her defend them.”
Legarda did not reply to her son’s scathing letter, instead letting another son come to her defense.
Leandro Legarda Leviste said he couldn’t be prouder of his mom for her accomplishments as a lawmaker.
He said his mother’s achievements were “overwhelming,” considering that Loren Legarda first made a name for herself as an award-winning broadcast journalist, then winning a senate seat at 38.
Leandro said excellence for his mother “is not measured in terms of headline-grabbing privilege speeches but in the quality of bills that became laws.”
Legarda has positioned herself as a defender of the environment, having passed such laws as the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000, the Philippine Tropical Fabrics Law of 2004, and the Climate Change Act of 2008, among others.
Leandro Leviste, however, raised eyebrows when he was granted a legislative franchise to operate a solar power company. His mother was accused of using her clout to fast-track the approval of the franchise of Solar Philippines, founded by Leandro.
A deputy speaker at the House of Representatives, Legarda is now seeking her old post in the Senate.
She previously ran twice for vice-president but lost both times.