MANILA - "Apologize and express remorse first before we talk about moving on."
That's the reaction of the Liberal Party as it hit the call of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos urging the public to move on from Martial Law during the time of her father, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
On Tuesday, the Philippines commemorated the 35th death anniversary of former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., a top opposition figure during the dictatorship.
Speaking with Cebu Daily News, Marcos, a prospective administration bet for senator, said Filipinos who continue to rail against her family should move on.
"These issues of Aquino versus Marcos have become less and less important with time,” she said.
"The millennials have moved on to other problems. I certainly hope that politicians, even those who are older or at my age (will) move on to learn the lessons of political unity, reconciliation, and ultimately, forgiveness."
Marcos said it is better now for Filipinos to unite for the country's sake.
"I'm not an apologist to my dad, and I think his work and his project will have to speak for themselves," she said.
It's a common refrain used by Marcos and her brother, former senator and vice-presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., whenever they are asked about the human rights abuses and corruption under martial law.
In a statement, the Liberal Party said the issue was never between the two political clans. The former ruling party said the issue was between the Marcoses and the Philippines.
"It was never just an issue between the Marcoses and the Aquinos. More than anything, it was an issue between the Marcoses and the entire nation that suffered immensely from the abuses, the greed, and the oppressive and tyrannical rule of Marcos the dictator,” LP president Senator Francisco "Kiko" Pangilinan said.
The Marcos dictatorship was marked with corruption and atrocities 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's ill-gotten wealth is estimated to reach $10 billion. Only P170 billion has been recovered in 30 years.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government is still pursuing efforts to recover the ill-gotten wealth amassed during the Marcos dictatorship through the PCGG.
He added that human rights victims have also been given compensation through the human rights victims' claims board.
President Rodrigo DUterte, who had described the late dictator as the country's best president, is a known friend of the Marcoses.
In November 2016, Duterte granted the clandestine burial of the late strongman at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, triggering massive protests.