MANILA – Former President Fidel Ramos on Monday responded to a statement by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos that she cannot admit any guilt for the atrocities during the rule of her father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, because she was too young when Martial Law was imposed.
Gov. Marcos earlier said in an ANC interview that she is willing to apologize for the agony caused by the imposition of Martial Law, but she said there would be no admission of guilt that would come from her.
"Iyung admission of guilt, unang-una ang liit-liit ko noon. Paano ko ia-admit, hindi ko naman alam?" Imee said.
(On the admission of guilt, first of all I was too young back then. How would I admit something I have no knowledge of?)
In a news conference, Ramos noted that Gov. Marcos was a already youth leader during the Martial Law years.
“I know how old she is because she is one year older than my eldest daughter. My eldest daughter at the time, looking at the beginning of Martial law, was already 18 years old,” Ramos said.
“Within a few years after the proclamation of Martial Law, Imee was elected president of the Kabataang Barangay. So, was she a little baby, musmusin (toddler)? Of course not. She was a responsible person.”
Gov. Marcos had also chided Ramos over the atrocities committed by law enforcers during the Martial Law years.
She said, it is Ramos who should be questioned for the numerous atrocities during the Martial Law.
Ramos, who played a key role in the historic and bloodless People Power Revolution in 1986, served as the chief of the Philippine Constabulary during Marcos’ time.
The PC, sometimes being referred to as Marcos’ own “Gestapo”, has been blamed for the numerous atrocities during the Martial Law period.
But Ramos said he has already apologized for his role during the Martial Law.
“My apology was more than an apology. In the Christian tradition, you confess and you atone,” he said.
“My atonement was leading the military and the police during the EDSA People Power Revoluton from the 22 to 25th of February and I stand by that record. It's there in the history books.”
Ramos said that after all, as then president, it was from the late dictator’s widow Imelda whom he had sought an apology.
“In terms of the apology that I requested, it was not from [Imee]. It was from the mother, the head of the family, who knew everything, including the beginning of Martial Law, the good years before the Martial Law, including what must have happened in August 1983,” he said, referring to the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr.