MANILA (UPDATE) — Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday said scions of former President Ferdinand Marcos should be given the chance to "prove a lot of things" as Filipinos still remember atrocities committed under the strongman rule of their patriarch Ferdinand Marcos.
Former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. should prove to all Filipinos "that he is different" from his father, Domagoso told ANC's Headstart when asked about his stance on the family's alleged attempts to revise history.
"He has to prove a lot of things. Hindi mo rin naman siya masisisi baka nagbago na siya sa buhay tapos he wants to prove himself," said the Manila Mayor, who intends to seek the presidency next year.
(You can't blame him, maybe he has changed and he wants to prove himself.)
"Kailangan niya i-prove sa ating lahat at sa maraming tao na he's different," he said.
(He has to prove to all of us that he's different.)
Domagoso, who grew up in poverty in the slums of Manila, said he was still "very young" when Marcos imposed martial law, but said he recalls employment being tough back then.
"I am very young at that time... Paborito ko kasing subject nung araw, Araling Panlipunan eh. Meron kaming student digest sa public school," the 46-year-old official said.
"Presyo ng bilihin, debt servicing... Ang trabaho is nowhere to be found. I think about six out of 10 walang trabaho at that time, '84, '85," he added.
(Prices of commodities, debt servicing... Jobs are nowhere to be found. Six out of 10 people were jobless at that time.)
"Masama talaga ang sitwasyon kaya nag-alimpuyo ang tao."
(The situation was really bad that was why people revolted.)
The Manila mayor said the Philippines has yet to see if the younger Marcos, the late dictator's only son, is capable of doing things differently should he vie for and win the presidency in 2022.
"That remains to be seen but we know already what transpired before '86," Domagoso said.
"People still remember what happened sa time ng ama niya, ni dating Pangulong Marcos (during the time of his father President Marcos)."
Marcos, who was in power from 1965, imposed Martial Law in September 1972 and lifted it in January 1981 in preparation for the first state visit of Saint Pope John Paul II a month later.
The martial law regime was marked by killings, human rights violations, and a plunder of state wealth. The Philippine government is still in the process of recovering the family's ill-gotten wealth.
Marcos held on to power until he was ousted by the People Power in February 1986.
In 2018, matriarch Imelda Marcos was found guilty of graft. She has not served her sentence.
The younger Marcos on Friday morning was nominated by Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, a party his father had founded, as its presidential bet in 2022. He has yet to make an official declaration but earlier said that he is open to running for a national post in 2022.
Bongbong lost his 2016 bid for vice president and later lost his electoral protest against the victor, Vice President Leni Robredo.
Domagoso said the rest of the Marcos family should be given a chance to answer questions about their family's decades-long rule.
"Baka feeling nila masyado naman silang inapi, sobra sobra naman ang akusasyon sa kanila," he said.
(Maybe they feel like they were oppressed, that the allegations against them are too much.)
"They are entitled na ipaliwanag naman nila ang sarili nila (to explain themselves)," he added.