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Victims Voice Anger As Dictator’s Son Nears Power


On the eve of elections that look set to return the son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos to the presidential palace, the regime’s victims are hurt and dismayed – but determined to renew their struggle.

“In other countries, dictators were lined up against the wall. That never happened to them,” said 70-year-old Bonifacio Ilagan.

A former political prisoner, Ilagan was captured during a raid on a dissident safehouse in 1974.

As chairman of the communist youth organisation Kabataang Makabayan, he was a significant catch.

He was held for two years in the elder Marcos’s jails and tortured repeatedly to give up fellow opponents of the regime.

Ilagan remembers the long nightmare clearly.

He recalls the beatings, his screams as hot irons seared the soles of his feet, and when captors tried to force a stick into his penis to force him to talk.

Through tears, he remembers when “they inserted bullets between the fingers of both hands and squeezed…

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