MANILA - Former First Lady Imelda Marcos attended a morning Mass in Baclaran church Wednesday, not knowing the celebration of the Holy Eucharist was intended to commemorate victims of torture and killings during the martial law rule of her late husband, President Ferdinand Marcos.
In her wheelchair in front of the altar of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Marcos sat with martial law victims, human rights groups and people from different church denominations who fought the dictatorship during martial law.
Mrs. Marcos left the Redemptorist church right after the 11 a.m. Mass.
In an interview, a staff member at the church confirmed that Mrs. Marcos attended the 11 a.m. Mass on Wednesday. She said Fr. Teody Holgado's homily touched on martial law and the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution ahead of its commemoration on Thursday.
"Our parish priest has always talked about human rights issues," she said. She pointed out that Fr. Rudy Romano, a Redemptorist priest assigned in Cebu, was abducted by military intelligence agents during the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1985 and has not been seen since.
Many rights groups, including the Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND), also celebrate Mass in the church, she said.
Meanwhile, the Promotion of Church People's Response (PCPR), an ecumenical group founded during the Marcos dictatorship, said Filipinos "should not forget the sacrifice and struggles of those who were tortured, incarcerated and killed during martial law and their contribution in bringing back democracy in the country."
The group said the Marcos dictatorship "did not spare the church." PCPR is a convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of Marcos in Malacanang or CARMMA, a coalition which seeks to prevent Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, son of the late dictator, from winning the vice-presidency. Report by Mark Saludes.