Senator Imee Marcos on the 50th anniversary of then President Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of Martial Law recalled how her father explained to her why it had to be imposed in the country.
"Musmos pa lang ako nung una kong narinig sa ama ko yung martial law dahil ang sabi niya ang pinakatanyag na gumamit nito ay yung president ng Amerika. Si Abraham Lincoln," Imee said in a press conference.
"Kung may karapatan ka bilang tao na ipagtanggol ang sarili mo kung may aatake sayo, gugulpi sa'yo, nais patayin ka, may karapatan din ang pamahalaan, ang estado ipagtanggol ang sarili niya sa mga naghahasik ng gulo, sa mga rebelde na nais bumagsak ang pamahalaan, sa mga susupil na mga dayuhan sa lahat ng pamamaraang ito," she added.
Imee said martial law had a purpose and it had been implemented not only in the Philippines but also in other countries.
"May gamit ang martial law at yan ay ginamit ilang beses na sa Amerika man at sa ibang bansa. 'Yan ang paliwanag ng ama ko noong maliit pa ako kaya't sine-share ko lang po," Imee said.
The press conference, which was held at the Marcos' residence in San Juan City, was attended by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, former Gregorio Honasan II, former Senator Kit Tatad, and other former military and policemen who were key players in the declaration of the Martial Law.
Enrile, who was the Defense minister during the military rule, said the late former president did not want to declare martial law in the Philippines but it was needed to implement the law and keep the peace and order in the country amid the social unrest.
Former members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National Democratic Front, Ka Peter Mutuc and Ka Eric Celiz, also attended the event, saying they wanted to correct the historical accounts on martial law.
They claimed that they were just spreading the propaganda that Marcos Sr. declared military rule because the latter wanted to stay in power.
At the latter part of the event, Mutuc and Celiz apologized to Imee.
"Gusto kong personal na sabihin ho ito kay Senator Imee ano. Humihingi ako ng paumanhin. Ako po'y nag-aapologize. At hindi lang ako ang gustong magsalita ng ganito. Marami po. Gusto ho namin maglunsad ng kilusan. Kilusan ng pagtutumpak ng kasaysayan," Mutuc told the senator.
Imee then proposed granting total amnesty for both leftists and rightists who opposed her father.
"Meron po ako sa aking puso na nagnanais makawala mula na sa matagal na panahon. Tulad ng aming pangalan—Marcos. Matagal nang pinipilit sinisira ng salitang martial law hindi na ito ang panahon para muling ungkatin ang nakaraan ng ating bansa," Imee said.
"Sino ako para posasan ang mga nagkamali? Gayong ako at ang aking pamilya ay hindi naman perpekto. Sino ako kundi isa lang ring Pilipino laging nangangarap ng katiwasayan... Ngayon na ang panahon upang umpisahan ang total amnesty ng kaliwa man at pati na rin ng kanang hanay ng mga nag-kudeta at iba pa," she added.
In an ambush interview, Imee said she had not discussed this proposal yet with her brother President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is currently in the United States.
She said she was surprised when the former communist rebels apologized to her, adding that her father would offer the same amnesty if he is still alive.
"Naalala ko yung ama ko, 'yun din ang gagawin n'on na talagang mang-aalok ng amnesty," Imee said.
Imee expressed confidence that she could convince the President to offer total amnesty to individuals who plotted against their father's administration and suggested the Executive Department to immediately start the discussions regarding her proposal.
Martial law survivors on Wednesday asked the President to acknowledge the alleged abuses committed under the reign of his father.
The elder Marcos ruled for two decades from 1965, almost half of it under martial law.
During that time, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed, according to figures from Amnesty International. —Hana Bordey/NB, GMA News