Imee Marcos baffled by talks about pa's dictatorship, says it was 'a million years ago'

Senator Imee Marcos is fed up with criticisms against their family over the 20-year rule of her father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., ahead of the 2022 elections.

Senator Imee Marcos (Senate of the Philippines)

In a radio interview on Saturday, October 16, the senator said the country should be focusing on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, instead of the past.

"Hindi ko nga maintindihan 'yong mga isyu ng tatay ko na one million years ago eh, nauungkat (I don't understand why the issues with my father, which happened one million years ago, are being revived)," Imee said over radio DWIZ.

"I think we really need to look to the future, there are so many, really serious problems that confront us," she added.

Imee was asked about the statements made by her colleague, presidential aspirant and Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, about her family's ill-gotten wealth.

Pacquiao had said that the Marcos family should return whatever ill-gotten wealth they amassed from the government, even vowing to review all the cases on the matter should he win next year's presidential race.

But Imee maintained that the government should focus on the future.

"Naririnig ko pa rin 'yong debate sa tatay ko. Eh mabuti naman na matuto sa mga nakaraan, pero nandito na tayo, alamin na natin kung anong gagawin para sa ngayon at sa hinaharap (People are still debating over my father. While it is good to learn from the past, we should now be looking at what we must do for the present and the future)," she said.

"'Yong mga mali, 'wag nang uulitin, s'yempre. Tapos 'yong magaganda naman, ituloy na (Let's not repeat the mistakes, of course. But we should continue the good programs)," she continued.

Imee also said that she finds it "corny" that candidates have been attacking each other.

"Nagiging corny na, eh, para bang, napaka-irrelevant sa panahong 'to, nakakaasar. Nagpapataasan ng kilay at ihi or whatever. Nakakainis, corny, kasi ang daming problema...Stop it, stop it, we have to show the way forward na may pag-asa pa (that there's still hope)," she said.

"Siguro iyon ang dapat hingin natin sa mga kandidato, imbes na mga birada, patutsada, batikos, siguro hingin natin sino ba talaga ang program ng gobyerno...Ang pinakamahalaga, sino ang may solusyon sa mga problema ng Pilipinas (Maybe that is what we should ask from the candidates, that instead of criticisms, insults, attacks, maybe we should ask for their programs of government. What's more important is who among them has the solution to the problems of the Philippines)," she pointed out.

Her brother, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., is running for president next year, after an unsuccessful bid for vice presidency in 2016.

"Bilang ate, parating solid ka sa mga pamilya mo, pero sa kabila non, takot na takot ako, syempre very protective at natatakot din ako dahil syempre, my brother needs to be protected also, and defended. S'yempre kinakabahan ako para sa kanya...While I support him, I'm very, very worried for him too," she said.

The Marcos siblings have refused to admit the human rights violations, killings and other atrocities during the administration of their father. They insisted that they were "too young" then to be aware of what happened during the Martial Law, even as they have been touting their father's supposed achievements.

In 2018, Imee told their family's critics to "move on" from the issue. It was also in the same year that her mother, Imelda Marcos, was convicted of seven counts of graft for funneling about $200 million to Swiss foundations in the 1970s when she served as Metro Manila governor.

The late dictator assumed power on December 30, 1965, and was reelected in 1969, the Official Gazette said on its website. He imposed Martial Law on September 23, 1972, and assumed control over all media outlets, suppressing press freedom.

Thousands of deaths, torture, incarcerations were also attributed to the military rule, victimizing activists, journalists and other dissenters of his administration.

While he lifted the Martial Law in 1981, Marcos would continue to hold office until February 25, 1986.

In 2013, the Republic Act No. 10368 was enacted as a recognition to the human rights violations during the Martial Law years, granting victims and their families compensation.