Moira dela Torre: I didn't know I'd be performing at 'Marcos Fest'
MANILA, Philippines – Following a barrage of criticism online, singer Moira dela Torre said Saturday, September 15, that she didn't know that the event she was headlining was actually a free concert to celebrate the 101st birth anniversary of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
"This Marcos Fest as supposed to be called I-Millennial Fest. I AM NOT A MARCOS APOLOGETIC (sic). Never will I be," she said on Twitter.
"From the earlier reminders till before we got there, [the organizers] addressed it as the Ilocano Millennial Night. Not once was [Marcos'] name brought up. So let me be clear about this: I performed for the people of Ilocos and NOT for Marcos," Moira added.
No i didn't. From the earlier reminders til before we got there, they addressed it as the Ilocano Millenial Night. Not once was his name brought up. So let me be clear about this: i performed for the people of Ilocos and NOT for Marcos. pic.twitter.com/0ks5XJXZF5— Moira Dela Torre (@moirarachelle4) September 15, 2018
Last week, a poster for "Marcos Fest," a free concert part of the province's celebration of Marcos' 101st birth anniversary, circulated online. Top-billing the September 11 concert at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City was Moira.
Marcos was born on September 11, 1917.
Moira blamed the concert producer and said the misinformation was likely deliberate. "I think he purposely left that out to keep us from not accepting the event… which makes me even angrier," she said.
It's been two years. I've seen more things, i've learned more. I deleted it because that came from a time when I didn't know any better. This Marcos Fest was supposed to be called I-Millenial Fest. I AM NOT A MARCOS APOLOGETIC. Never will i be.— Moira Dela Torre (@moirarachelle4) September 15, 2018
Marcos was elected president of the Philippines in 1966. Just as he was about to end his second and last term, he placed the country under Martial Law. The Martial Law years were marred by human rights abuses, corruption by the Marcoses and their cronies, and the disappearances of political foes. (READ: Marcos years marked 'golden age' of PH economy? Look at the data)
Ilocos Norte is Marcos' home province. Several of his heirs – children and grandchildren – are elected officials in the province.
'She wasn't forced'
Ilocos Norte officials, however, took offense at Moira's insinuation that she was misled on the nature of the music fest.
“The organizers informed the talent agent and her management of the name, theme, sequence of the concert. She was not forced in any way to perform in the concert and as seen in videos and photos, everything went very well during the event,” Aian Raquel, head of the Ilocos Norte Tourism office, told Rappler.
“Governor Marcos is known to support and even produce OPM for many decades now. Everybody was just happy during the concert,” he added.
The incumbent governor of Ilocos Norte is Imee Marcos, eldest daughter of the late dictator.
Raquel also pointed out that posters for the concert had already been online since September 7. “It would be impossible for them to miss the materials,” he added.
“We feel that it’s unprofessional for them to be making such unnecessary comments after the event. She wasn’t forced to do anything,” said Raquel, reacting to Moira’s social media posts.
In an earlier statement, Moira’s management Cornerstone Entertainment said the gig was “non-political.”
On Duterte, too
Moira's replies were prompted by Twitter user @jerichorayel, who posted a screenshot of Moira's tweet from 2016. In the since-deleted tweet, Moira said that while President Rodrigo Duterte's speeches could "still [be] improved," she "[believed] that God did not make him our leader by accident."
"It's been two years. I've seen more things, I've learned more. I deleted it because that came from a time when I didn't know any better," the singer explained.
Duterte happens to have close ties to the Marcoses, whom he credits for supporting his campaign financially. (READ: For his victory, Duterte says he owes Imee Marcos, 3 other governors)
Duterte has also said he was planning to resign should Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the late dictator's son, win his election protest. Marcos lost the vice presidency to Vice President Leni Robredo but has contested it.