MANILA- The family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. shouldn't apologize for human rights violations during their 2-decade rule, a lawyer seeking a Senate seat in May said Sunday.
Larry Gadon, a self-described Marcos loyalist, said there was basis to declare martial law during the 1970s.
Asked during "Harapan 2019: The ABS-CBN Senatorial Town Hall Debate" whether the late dictator's family should apologize to human rights victims, Gadon responded: "Hindi, sapagkat kinakailangan ang martial law nung time na yun upang wag tayong masakop ng komunista."
(No, because martial law was necessary at the time so that the country won't be ruled by communists.)
Gadon said Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison was responsible for numerous deaths recorded during the Marcos years.
"Yung maraming namatay noong martial law ay mga NPA (New People's Army) na pinatay ni Joma dahil gusto nilang sumuko. Yan ay malaking katotohanan yan," he said.
(The many people that died during martial law are NPA members who were killed by Joma because they wanted to surrender. That's the truth.)
The Marcos dictatorship was marked by allegations of corruption with at least 3,257 people killed and some 35,000 others tortured.
According to the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), the Marcos family amassed $10 billion in ill-gotten wealth. Only P170 billion has been recovered in 30 years.
The late strongman's daughter, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, in 2018 refused to apologize over military rule imposed by her father.
"Ay patay na 'yang storya na 'yan, dedma na. Dedma na 'yang storyang 'yan," she said.
(That story is already dead. That is already a non-issue.)
Imee is also seeking a Senate seat in the upcoming elections.
Aside from being a Marcos loyalist, Gadon is a self-branded crusader against stupidity.