The resigned anti-poverty chief also says Marcos' return to power is 'very dangerous'
MANILA - The Marcoses should apologize and show remorse before Filipinos can move on from the years of martial law under dictator Ferdinand Marcos, a member of the human rights claims board said Thursday.
Marcos' eldest daughter Imee was quoted recently as saying Filipinos who continue to rail against her family should move on because "these issues of Aquino versus Marcos have become less and less important with time."
Liza Maza, member of the panel tasked to facilitate the human rights victims' receipt of indemnification, said the younger Marcos is "very wrong" to say that the issue of human rights abuses during martial law was only between the Aquinos and the Marcoses and that the public simply has to move on.
"This is a question of justice, justice for the victims of the crimes committed by the dictator," she told ANC's Early Edition.
"There is already a law giving compensation. This is a statement saying that indeed the dictator committed these crimes," she said.
"This is not about hating, this is about the Marcoses admitting that these things happened and they should also show remorse and show acceptance and recognition...Up to this time they haven’t."
Maza also disagreed with Marcos' statement that the younger populace "have moved on to other problems."
"I think that many millennials are also recognizing, studying history, and realizing that these things happened and they are also saying this should not happen again," she said.
"Especially last year, when this issue came up, highlighted in the national news, the return of the Marcoses, a lot of millennials stood up and spoke to say they don’t want a repeat of the Marcoses," she added.
Asked what she makes of the timing of Imee's appeal amid a perceived political climate that is conducive to their family's return to power, Maza quoted William Shakespeare, saying "What's past is prologue."
"This is really very, very dangerous," she said.
Maza recently resigned her post as National Anti-Poverty Commission chief, citing the rise of former President Arroyo as Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Marcos family as factors in her decision.
The late strongman's only son, Ferdinand Jr or "Bongbong," has a pending electoral protest on his loss in the 2016 vice presidential race.
Imee, governor of Ilocos Norte, recently allied herself with the local political party of the president's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. She said she would likely seek a senatorial seat next year.
"I don’t see real change in our country with the return of the old forces of fascism, of corruption, all these dynasties that have ruled our country that only serve the interests of the elite and the foreigners," Maza said.
She said she stayed with her role in NAPC for more than 2 years because she was "very hopeful that an agreement will be forged during the President’s term."
"I had sincere hopes that there will be meaningful socio-economic and political reforms in our country because during that time, the peace talks was also very active," she said.
Maza said invitations to join the Cabinet meetings also stopped coming her way when Duterte terminated the peace talks late last year.
The negotiations fell through in November last year following clashes between government forces and communist rebels. Duterte then moved to have the Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army declared as a terrorist group.