‘This is not about your father:’ Netizens slam Imee Marcos for Heroes’ Day message

Bonz Magsambol
‘This is not about your father:’ Netizens slam Imee Marcos for Heroes’ Day message
Do you think a formal declaration is needed for someone to be recognized as a hero?


MANILA, Philippines – “Just because your father does not qualify as one does not mean we cannot regard others as heroes.”

Filipinos online hit Senator Imee Marcos over her National Heroes’ Day message, in which she said, “The reality is that, officially, we have no heroes.” 

In a statement on Monday, August 26, the senator said the National Hero Committee in 1995 merely identified the criteria of what makes a “national hero,” but did not officially appoint specific historical figures as heroes.  

“We only have implied heroes, despite having official dates for their commemoration,” she said.

Marcos was referring to the recommendation of Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang, among others, to be proclaimed as national heroes. 

No action has yet been taken to proclaim them, over fears of sparking historical controversies, according to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

‘Not about your father’

Marcos’ message, however, did not sit well with netizens. They took a swipe at Marcos’ father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) angered netizens and received strong indignation from critics. (READ: ‘Naisahan na naman’: Netizens stunned by #MarcosBurial)


The same sentiment was echoed by Bhobby Nacorda, who questioned the insistence of the Marcos family to have the late dictator buried at the LNMB.  


‘Not a UP, Princeton graduate’

Some netizens even brought up the previous controversies over Senator Marcos’s college degrees. (FALSE: Imee Marcos ‘graduated cum laude from UP College of Law’)


Marcos claimed in her curriculum vitae uploaded on the Congress website that she graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law.

However, while UP said that she did take courses at the university, the senator does not have a record of graduation.

Marcos had also claimed that she has a degree from Princeton University. However, Princeton deputy university spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss told Rappler via email that she did not finish her degree. (READ: FALSE: Imee Marcos ‘earned degree from Princeton’)

What makes a national hero?

According to the Reference and Research Bureau, Legislative Research Service of the House of Representatives, there are no proclamations or executive orders that officially proclaim a Filipino historical figure as a national hero.

But there have been laws issued that honor these historical figures to recognize their contributions to the country’s nation building.

Heroes like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are not explicitly proclaimed national heroes, but Filipinos pay tribute to them and recognize their heroism, having national holidays as a result. (READ: FAST FACTS: What makes a Filipino historical figure a national hero?)

The lack of official declarations has not stopped Filipinos from revering historical figures for their contributions to Philippine history.

Here’s what others had to say about the issue:


What do you think of Marcos’ statement? Do you think a formal declaration is needed for someone to be recognized as a hero? – Rappler.com

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.