If there is, Imee Marcos says ‘sorry’ for Martial Law abuses

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor


PHOTO: Sen. Imee R. Marcos (Facebook)

As the country celebrates its 124th Independence Day, Senator Imee Marcos, the eldest of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.'s children, comes by surprise as she apologizes for the atrocities — if there is, committed during the Martial Law era from 1972 to 1981. 


In a 6-minute long video posted on Sunday afternoon, Imee in a one-on-one interview with an anti-Marcos quipped that her father never told anyone to kill or hurt anybody. 


But as the most forgiving person in her family, she says that she is sorry for the human rights abuses under his father’s presidency, adding that it can be a big thing to the victim’s families. 


“[Never] ko naman kasi narinig yung tatay ko na nagsasabi na patayin yan, saktan yan. Wala naman ganun eh. Ako na mismo, aaminin ko, marami talagang tao na kung ano-ano ang ginawa na ‘di naman namin kontrol yun. Pero kung may nasaktan, ako na mismo ang magpapaumanhin… Ako na— Ako, Imee. At talagang kung makapagbigay sa kanila ng konting kagaanan ng loob, ano ba naman ako na pagkaitan yun. Malaking bagay yun eh,” Imee said. 


The more than 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. documented a wave of crimes and grave human rights violations such as unlawful arrests and detention, torture, enforced disapperances, and killings— to which the Marcos family has never apologized. 


The Human Rights Violations Victims' Memorial Commission (HRVVMC) recorded 1,103 victims of human rights violations; 2,326 were either killed or disappeared and were never found; 2,104 approved claims for torture; 699 and 1,417 approved claims of victims of illegal detention. 


Human rights violations count presented by HRVVMC are only those with approved claims for compensation from the Human Rights Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.


The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance noted that at least 878 people went missing from 1971 to 1986. These people are now considered as desaparecidos, or the disappeared.


Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) reported at least 70,000 people who were wrongly imprisoned; 34,000 individuals tortured under the Marcos regime. 


In 1975, the late dictator Marcos Sr. in an interview with the organization admitted that over 50,000 people had been arrested and detained from 1972-1975. The numbers he revealed include church workers, human rights defenders, legal aid lawyers, labor leaders and journalists.


On why they want to go back in Malacañang


Now that they are back at power with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the only son and namesake of the late dictator winning the presidency, Imee noted that they are not keen on going back to the Palace but they only ought to redeem the dignity of her family’s name and the legacy of her father. 


“‘Di naman gustong-gustong bumalik doon, galing naman kami sa Malacañang. Ang para sa akin, ang gusto kong ibalik ay yung dangal ng pangalan namin— ng apelyido at pamilyang Marcos. Kasi ang bigat ng pamana sa amin. Lahat na lang na ginawa ang tatay ko masama raw at kami walang silbi, hindi naman siguro," the senator said.


Imee stressed that the landslide 31 million votes amassed by his brother amidst all the hate thrown to them in the past 36 years only shows that they are still relevant and Filipinos are still remembering them. 


“Sa totoo lang, tuwang-tuwa ako ngayon eh kasi nagugulat ako hindi pala kami totally nawala sa uso. At kahit papaano, nandiyan pa rin sa puso ng tao. Hindi pa nakakalimutan. Marami diyan ay talagang minahal kami mula sa umpisa hanggang sa ngayon. Kaya’t alam ninyo ‘yang Malacañang na yan, lugar lang yan eh. Yung mahalaga yung puso at pagmamahal ng tao,” Imee continued. 


President-elect Marcos Jr. is set to take his oath as the 17th President of the Philippines at the National Museum in Manila on June 30 — President Rodrigo Duterte’s last day in office. 


‘We do not seek revenge’


Addressing those who have hatred for the Marcos family, particularly Filipinos who have not experienced the atrocities under his  father's regime, Imee said she is open for dialogue and her family is not after revenge at all. 


“Tuloy-tuloy lang tayong mag-usap. Pakinggan mo ako, papakinggan din kita at baka may matutunan tayo sa isa’t-isa. Sa puno’t dulo nito, lahat tayo ay Pilipino, magtutulungan. Tayo rin ang maghahanap ng solusyon para sa ating bayan,” Imee reckoned. 


“Taon-taon nga may EDSA celebration, pinapakita yung galit pero sa amin wala naman kayong naririnig. ‘Di naman nilalabanan yan, ‘di kami naghihiganti kasi ayaw namin na nagagalit yung tao,” she continued, citing that her father taught them not to put a fight with fellow Filipinos. 


Imee also quipped that their family had a different story when the bloodless EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986 happened. 


“Noong EDSA iba kasi yung kwento namin kasi noong tinatanong ng mga sundalo kung magpapaputok na sila at ikakalat na yung mga tao doon, sabi ng tatay ko: ‘Alam ninyo, kaya kung bumaril, makipaglaban sa Hapon, sa mga dayuhan, pero kapwa Pilipino natin ‘yan . Hayaan mo sila. Tayo muna ang umalis hanggang huminahon,” Imee concluded. 


In 1986, Filipinos from all walks of life marched along EDSA and toppled down the  Marcos dictatorship and eventually forced the Marcos family out of Malacañang as they fled to Hawaii in a United States Air Force C-130 on February 25 of the same year. 



Edited by Kyla Balatbat

Previous Post Next Post