Martial Law victims respond to Imee Marcos asking people to forgive her father

By Aya Tantiangco
Source: GMA News


Another book documenting the extravagant life of the Marcoses during the dictatorship of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was launched on Saturday. Penned by Myles A. Garcia, “Thirty Years Later: Catching Up with the Marcos Era Crimes” describes the amoral “hoodwinking” that Marcos and his wife Imelda performed while in power.

“Hoodwinking” is too light a term, especially if you ask people who were tortured and raped during Martial Law. During the book launch, Danilo “Ka Danny” Dela Fuente recounted the physical agony he suffered.


“Hindi mababayaran ang ginawang pagpapahirap sa amin ng anumang anyo ng salapi. Pangunahin sa amin magkaroon ng katarungan. Dapat may managot,” Ka Danny said.

“Ang mga Marcos, ipinagdiwang ang birthday ni Marcos Sr. nitong September 11. Nagsalita itong si Imee. Sabi niya, magkaroon kami ng pagpapatawad. Eh bakit kami magbibigay ng patawad?” he continued. “Bakit kami kailangang magbigay ng patawad sa kanila? ‘Yun ‘yung hindi nila inaamin.”

Ka Danny was arrested in February 25, 1982. He was a labor organizer at the time and was taken from a house in Novaliches to Camp Crame along with other members of the union. Ka Danny was physically assaulted during an interrogation and was transferred to another location where he was tortured.

Like many, Ka Danny was subjected to violent electric shocks and Russian Roulette among other forms of brutality.

On September 12, it was reported that Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos had spoken during a dinner in honor of her father during which she said that the late dictator was only human.

“Anuman ang kasalanan ng aking ama sapagkat hindi naman niya kailanman sinabi na siya ay hindi tao lamang na nagkakamali at nagkakasala

“Sana sa kabila nito, mahanap na rin nila ang kapatawaran sapagkat sa pagpapatawad sa aking ama, sa pagpapatawad, sana mapawi na rin ang galit nila at sila mismo ay mabigyan ng kapayapaan,” she added.

Ka Danny lamented the lack of admission, acknowledgement, and apology from the Marcoses despite statements from them asking for forgiveness.

In a separate interview with GMA News Online, leftist politician and former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo concurred with Ka Danny.

“Ni walang naman silang pagpapaumanhin man lang. Wala silang pag-amin. Hindi nila sinasabing, ‘Bilang mga anak niya, humihingi kami ng paumanhin sa mga nagawang kasalanan o kakulangan o pang-aabuso sa panahon ng aming ama.’ Walang ganun eh.

“Humihingi ka ng patawad ng wala ka namang abiso, so ano ‘yung patawad na hinihingi?” he said.

He added that Governor Marcos failed to recognize the rights of the victims of Martial Law to ask for justice and reparations. According to Ocampo, what she did was generalize that it’s normal for human beings to commit errors.

“Nawawala ‘yung sense ng contrition kung gaanong kabigat ‘yung mga kasalanan,” Ocampo explained.

‘A kind of his own’

Also speaking during the book launch, Atty. Rey Cortez of the National Union of People’s Lawyers provided an update on the fight to prevent the late dictator from being buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“He was a dictator, a plunderer, and human rights violator and this is a fact. It is a judicially recognized fact,” Cortez said, repeating Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s citation of 20 Supreme Court decisions calling Marcos a dictator and 18 other Supreme Court decisions referring to him as an authoritarian.

He underscored in particular the Marcos v Manglapus case from 1989 and reiterated that Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr. is sui generis—a kind of his own.

Cortez explained, “He should be treated differently from all of the presidents and soldiers and recipients of the medal of valor.”

What had transpired during the Martial Law was unlike anyone had ever seen and Cortez said that the 1987 Philippine Constitution recognizes the atrocities that were committed during Marcos’ rule. Words like safe houses had never been used for and were specifically written into the constitution because of the country’s collective experience under Martial Law.

Republic Act 10368 (Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013) specifies the restoration of the honor and dignity of human rights victims, Cortez said, adding, “And here you bury Marcos and give him the same honor as those who he victimized?”

Cortez stressed that Marcos is not worthy of emulation and not source of inspiration and is thus not entitled to a hero’s burial.

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