Imee Marcos urges mom Imelda to write book

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 27 2021 08:09 PM

MANILA - Sen. Imee Marcos on Wednesday said their family is to blame for the Philippines' divided stance on the rule of Ferdinand Marcos, noting that they did not adequately explain their side of the story.

History chastises the late dictator for human rights abuses and billions-worth of ill-gotten wealth perpetuated during martial law, while his loyalists hail Marcos for his infrastructure push after World War II.

"Kasalanan din namin. May sense ako na nagkulang din kami sa kaka-explain," Sen. Marcos told TeleRadyo's "On the Spot."

(It was also our fault. I have a sense that we also fell short in explaining the issues.)

"Noong panahon na 'yun, hindi din ako mulat na mulat, teenager, iba ang pinagkakaabalahan mo. Pasok ka sa school, mga friends mo. Ganun lang kababawan, hindi mo din alam [ang nangyayari]," said Marcos' eldest daughter, who was 10 years old when her father rose to power. 

She was already turning 31 when the dictatorship was toppled. 

(At that time, I was not very aware, I was a teenager with different hobbies. I go to school, I mingle with friends. I only had these shallow thoughts, I did not know what was happening.)

After the Marcos patriarch died in 1989, his family ended their exile in the United States and returned to the Philippines to re-establish themselves in the political landscape.

The family has been repeatedly accused of historical revisionism, with the survivors of human rights violations calling for justice.

"'Yung mga naging expert tungkol sa panahong yun... Iniisip ko ang bata-bata pa nito, hindi pa ipinapanganak," she said.

(Those who have become experts about that time... I think are too young, and were not even alive then.)

"Nagkulang din kami," she said.

(We also fell short.)

She said the public should "look at the facts".

"We are allowed our own opinions but we are not allowed our own facts. The facts stand as they are," she said, enumerating infrastructure and agriculture projects under her father's regime.

"Timbangin na natin doon sa facts pero wag naman yung mga fake facts. Ayoko nun," said Marcos, who has been accused of falsifying her diploma and graduation from the University of the Philippines.

(We should way using facts, not fake fact. I don't like that.)

Sen. Marcos said she has been urging her mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, and her father's former Cabinet members to write books to explain their martial law narrative.

"Many of my dad's Cabinet members, many of the generals, sinasabi ko sa kanila, magsulat kayo kahit papaano, sabihin ninyo yung alam ninyo kasi maraming nagsasalita ngayon na kung tutuusin, nandoon ba sila?" she said.

(I told many of my dad's Cabinet members, many of the generals, to also write about it, say what they knew about it, because those who are speaking about it now were not even present during my father's rule.)

"Pati 'yung nanay ko kinukulit ko. Ninety-two-years old na 'yung nanay ko. Sabi ko, 'Magsulat ka, magkuwento ka.' Sabi niya, 'Lagi naman tayong binibira, 'wag na lang,'" she said.

(I even urged my mom to write a book. She's 92-years old already. I told her, 'Write it, tell your story.' She said, 'Why bother when we are always criticized anyway.')

Several books about the abuses during Marcos Sr.'s 21-year rule have been published over the years.

Among the prominent titles is "The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos," which was written by Primitivo "Tibo" Mijares, the late dictator's "media czar" and chief propagandist until his defection in 1975.

Mijares, who had direct access to Marcos daily, confessed to spewing lies in favor of Marcos in exchange for hefty salary and a lavish lifestyle.

A more recent tell-all about the Marcoses was former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile's memoir, which became one of the best-selling books in the Philippines in 2012.

Marcos' former defense minister detailed in his autobiography how the dictator handed out concessions to cronies, and how the regime staged a ploy to justify the declaration of martial law.

During his memoir's 2012 launch, Enrile said the book "is a rendition of what I know to be true because I was there."

"I lay no claim to a monopoly of the truth," he said.

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