Netizens blast former first daughter Imee Marcos for telling Filipinos to ‘move on’ from Martial Law

Photo: ABS-CBN News.
Photo: ABS-CBN News.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, daughter of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is at the center of an internet maelstrom after she was quoted on Tuesday telling Filipinos to “move on” from the memories of the Martial Law her father instituted.

Netizens and politicians have blasted Marcos for the remarks, with some saying that Filipinos could only forgive after her family has apologized for the atrocities committed during that era.

Ferdinand Marcos, Imee’s father, declared Martial Law from 1972–1981, a time when numerous human rights violations occurred.

In May, ABS-CBN News reported that more than 11,100 victims received compensation from the government, with the amount taken from the Marcos’ Swiss bank deposits worth PHP10 billion (more than US$186,993,470).

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Imee made the controversial statements at a press conference in Cebu City, where she attended an event organized by the League of Municipalities of the Philippines.

Adding icing to the cake was the fact that the statements were made on the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino, her father’s fiercest critic. He was gunned down at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport by a lone gunman on Aug. 21 in 1983.

“The millennials have moved on, and I think people at my age should also move on as well,” Imee said.

“I’m not an apologist to (sic) my dad, and I think his work and his project[s] will have to speak for themselves,” she added.

Understandably, this didn’t sit well with some politicians, such as opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan. He tweeted: “How can those who were unjustly detained, tortured and murdered move on when there is not (sic) remorse, not any act of atonement, not (sic) acceptance and recognition of wrongdoing on their [Marcoses] part?”

Another senator, Bam Aquino, who happens to be a nephew of Ninoy, tweeted his statement in Filipino. He said: “You were hurt and stolen from, and then they will tell you to ‘move on.’ In relationships that have been destroyed, the one who usually says ‘move on’ is the abuser, but the victim is the person seeking closure?”

Journalist Raissa Robles suggested that Imee is telling Filipinos to “move on” so they could return to power.

Imee’s brother, Bongbong, is in the midst of contesting the results of the 2016 elections, in which he lost the vice presidency to Leni Robredo. ABS-CBN reported that President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he will resign from his post should Bongbong win his protest.

One Twitter user named @iskolarspeaks wrote that millennials “will never stop seeking accountability from the Marcoses.”

One @MiaMagdalena wrote on Twitter: “Stupid. When your family’s in jail, when you return what you stole, when Marcos is taken out of Heroes’ Cemetery, then we move on.”

The Supreme Court allowed Ferdinand to be buried at the Heroes Cemetery in 2016, a move that was met with widespread criticism.

However, the Marcoses have their fair share of supporters. Over on Facebook, one netizen using the name Jungzkie Lobo commented on pop culture website Spot.ph’s article on Imee in Filipino.

He wrote: “I used to think that [Ninoy] Aquino was a hero. But I opened my eyes and became more mature. What have the Aquinos done for the country? What we have read in books at school and the things we watch on television, not all of them are true. In the eyes of the people, the Marcoses are evil and the Aquinos are good. But I don’t know anything and it’s easy for people to judge. The Marcoses have done a lot of good.”

He adds: “I’m not pro-Marcos. In fact, I am for the Aquinos. But I am one of the youths who learned the truth. That former President Marcos was our country’s real hero. I just want peace for our country and if BBM [Bongbong Marcos] becomes vice president I’m ready to support him so that our country will become better.”

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