Miss World

Imee to Marcos family critics: ‘Move on’ from Martial Law

Mara Cepeda
'The conflict between the Marcoses and Aquinos happened a long time ago. We don't need to keep hating people for a very long time,' says Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos

MOVE ON? Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos flashes the V sign made popular by her father, former president Ferdinand Marcos, when the Supreme Court allowed a hero's burial for him in 2016. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos told Filipinos who continue criticizing her family to move on from Martial Law. 

This was Imee’s message on Tuesday, August 21, as the nation commemorated the assassination of ex-senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr, the leader of the opposition during the dictatorship of Imee’s father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

“The millennials have moved on, and I think people at my age should also move on as well,” Imee said in a press conference on the sidelines of the Visayan Island Cluster Conference of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines held at Radisson Blu.

Cebu Daily News and the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Imee believes the longtime feud between her family and the Aquinos should not be raised during Ninoy Aquino Day.  

“The conflict between the Marcoses and Aquinos happened a long time ago. We don’t need to keep hating people for a very long time. It’s not our way. We just need to go forward,” said Imee. 

It’s a common line Imee and her younger brother, ex-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, would use whenever asked about the abuses under Martial Law. (READ: #NeverAgain: Martial Law stories young people need to hear)

The 21-year rule of their father was marred by killings, torture, disappearances, media oppression, and corruption. (READ: Martial Law, the dark chapter in Philippine history)

In August 1977, 21-year-old Archimedes Trajano stood up during an open forum where Imee was speaking and asked why she was the national chairperson of the Kabataang Barangay.  

Witnesses said Trajano was seen forcibly taken from the venue by Imee’s bodyguards, and was tortured for 12 to 36 hours and thrown out of a second floor window. His bloodied body was found on the streets of Manila on September 2, 1977. (READ: Gone too soon: 7 youth leaders killed under Martial Law

Trajano’s mother later sued Imee before a district court in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 20, 1986, about a month after the Marcos family moved there following the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the elder Marcos from power. 

The Trajanos won the case in 1991, with the court awarding them $4.4 million. They then filed a civil case with the Pasig City Regional Trial Court in 1993 to collect the compensation from the Marcos family. 

But in 2006, the Supreme Court (SC) voided the case and ruled in favor of Imee.  

Ten years later in 2016, the SC also allowed a hero’s burial for the dictator. – Rappler.com 

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.