MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady who once acted as a bridge between Libya and the Philippines, said she understands what embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi is going through due to her own experience.
"I understand what he is going through. He is fighting for honor. He is fighting for justice," she said, as the political turmoil continued in the North African country.
"I could not blame him, because I have been fighting too... [through] so much pain and persecution to uphold truth and honor," she said.
She said sanctions against Libya and the restrictions placed on the Gaddafis and their cronies by the United States and the United Nations are "wrong."
"Sanctions might get them desperate to do something that is not peaceful," she said.
Marcos also said that she doesn't believe the Philippines would have met a similar fate as what Libya is experiencing now, if her husband Ferdinand Marcos wasn't overthrown in 1986.
"Ang sabi ni Bong-bong [Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., her son], baka daw naging Singapore [ang Pilipinas]. Baka nahigitan pa natin ang Singapore - mas malaki tayo," she said.
"Ano doon sila sa Singapore? Disciplined. Ang sigaw ni Marcos under Martial Law, sa kaunlaran ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan," she said.
Meanwhile, Marcos said she would like to remind Gaddafi that Islam is "for peace," which is what the Libyan leader told her when he was trying to convince her to convert to Islam in the 1970s.
She said that during the 1986 People Power revolt that toppled her husband's regime, they did not fire a single shot.
"Andodoon na sa gate ang mga tao, hindi nagpaputok si Marcos at nagpatay ng isang tao. Wala kaming Mendiola Massacre," she said, referring to the deadly dispersal of a protest by farmers in 1987.
Marcos visited Libya twice, in 1976 and 1977, as part of the Philippine government's efforts to ask for Libya's help in dealing with the Muslim rebellion in Mindanao. Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News