Ferdinand Marcos’s Daughter Tells Filipinos to ‘Move On’ Beyond Father’s MisdeedsMANILA — The eldest daughter of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has advised Filipinos to “move on” and forget about the past, drawing angry rebukes Wednesday in a country that suffered under two decades of her father’s brutal regime.
Imee Marcos, 62, and the rest of the Marcos family have been enjoying a revival of sorts under the presidency of President Rodrigo Duterte, a self-professed fan of Ferdinand Marcos and his strongman ways.
On Tuesday, the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Benigno S. Aquino Jr., whose killing fueled the protests that toppled Marcos, his daughter used an appearance with Mr. Duterte to tell Filipinos to move beyond her father’s misdeeds.
“The millennials have moved on and I think people at my age should also move on as well,” Ms. Marcos said, as quoted by local newspapers.
“I am not an apologist for my dad, and I think his work and his projects will speak for themselves,” she said.
Thousands of people were killed and tortured during the Marcos era, and the Marcos family was accused of stealing roughly $10 billion in government treasure to enrich itself.
Mr. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, but his wife, Imelda, and children were subsequently allowed to return home, where they have since regained some measure of political clout.
Imee Marcos is the governor of the family stronghold in northern Ilocos Norte Province, while Imelda is currently serving as the regional representative. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son, was a former senator who lost his 2016 bid to become vice president.
Mr. Aquino’s death in 1983 triggered public anger that eventually snowballed into the “people power” uprising that toppled the dictator three years later.
Shortly after, Mr. Aquino’s widow, Corazon, became the president and guided the country out of deep divisions as it adjusted to democracy. Their son, Benigno S. Aquino III, would later become the president and was succeeded by Mr. Duterte.
Mr. Duterte has done little to hide his contempt for the Aquinos, and shortly after he took office worked to transfer Ferdinand Marcos’s remains from a family tomb to Manila’s heroes’ cemetery, igniting protests.
Imee Marcos’s call to move on from the brutal Marcos years drew a sharp rebuke Wednesday from a leading opposition senator, Francis Pangilinan.
“How can those who were unjustly detained, tortured and murdered move on when there is not remorse, not any act of atonement, not acceptance and recognition of wrongdoing on their part?” he said.
For Filipinos to properly move on, Mr. Pangilinan said the Marcos family should own up to its past sins and return “what they plundered” back to the national treasury.
A fellow senator, Paolo Benigno Aquino, a nephew of the slain Aquino, said it remains difficult for many Filipinos to “move on” from a painful chapter of the country’s history.
“It is so easy to say that we should all move on, but for those who suffered during martial law, it would not be so easy,” he said. “It is difficult to get over something without any closure, more so if it is being made to appear that the offender has not sinned.”
Mr. Duterte has recently been voicing his support for Ferdinand Marcos Jr., saying he could resign to make way for Mr. Marcos to take over the presidency if the dictator’s son wins a legal fight claiming he was cheated out of the vice presidency.
The president and vice president are elected separately in the Philippines.