MANILA - Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos commemorated Sunday the birthday of her husband, former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Together with hundreds of supporters, the congresswoman attended Mass at Santa Monica Parish Church in Sarrat town, Ilocos Norte. Afterwards, she also graced a wreath-laying ceremony at the Marcos Monument in the town plaza.
The late strongman died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989, a few years after he was ousted from power by the peaceful 1986 People Power Revolution. He would have turned 99 today.
The commemoration of his birthday comes as the Supreme Court tackles petitions against a planned hero’s burial for him.
In a message after the Mass, Rep. Marcos said she hoped that truth will prevail over the allegations of corruption and human rights abuses hounding her husband's authoritarian rule under Martial Law.
The lawmaker also expressed gratitude to the supporters of her family, saying: "Thank you for being so loyal and caring , and giving us your love... You are the reason us Marcoses survive."
Her daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, brushed off petitions opposing the interment of the late president's remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"Sa haba ng panahon ay talaga namang magkakaroon na ng katotohan. Huwag na tayong humatol sa panahong ito, total, ang tanging katungkulan natin ngayon ay ilibing ang patay," she said.
(The truth will prevail now that a long time has passed. Let's not pass judgement anymore since our only duty now is to bury the dead.)
Governor Marcos and local government officials were also among the hundreds that marked the late strongman's birthday at the Mass.
Also present at the event was the youngest and the only living sibling of the Marcos patriarch, 94-year-old Fortuna Marcos-Barba.
The former president's other children, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos and Irene Marcos, were not present due to other personal commitments, a source said.
The birthday celebration, dubbed as the "Marcos Fiesta," started last Friday and will end today.
-- Report from Grace Alba, ABS-CBN News