Imee Marcos seizes martial law narrative

IMEE Marcos with former NPA cadres Ka Peter (Matuc) and Ka Eric (Jeffrey Celiz) and Marcos supporters. | PHOTOGRAPH BY YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

illustration by glenzkie tolo

Imee Marcos is fashionably late for her own media conference.

Which is a good thing. It gives me ample time to have a look-see around the venue, the old Marcos residence in San Juan — one of the few properties that wasn’t sequestered after the Edsa Revolt because Ferdinand E. Marcos had owned it before he became president in 1965.

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos wooden sculpture. | PHOTOGRAPH BY POCHOLO CONCEPCION FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

A woman of slight build, in blue uniform, leaned against an archway. She’s been on the job as a helper for only two months — no, not in this mansion, she clarified, but in the other house across the street.

“Kaninong bahay?” I ask.

“Senator Imee,” she says in a soft voice.

Cherub with rosary. | PHOTOGRAPH BY POCHOLO CONCEPCION FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Spread all over the original Marcos residence are various religious images — a Sto. Niño here, a Lady of Fatima there, a cherub with a rosary around its neck — signs that Imelda Marcos had lived here.

Darryl Yap strolls in, his presence indicating this gathering is connected to the sequel to his movie Maid in Malacañang. It will focus on Ferdinand Sr.’s nemesis, who will surely turn in his grave, given the working title Darryl mentioned on his Facebook post — Ninoy Aquino: Martyr or Murderer?

Marcos residence helper ready to assist guests at the media conference. | PHOTOGRAPH BY POCHOLO CONCEPCION FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

In the next two hours, before dusk on 21 September, Imee sits at the center of the table, as Johnny Ponce Enrile, a few retired military officers, and a rebel returnee named Ka Peter (Mutuc) take turns recalling events and incidents prior to Ferdinand Sr.’s signing of Presidential Decree 1081 placing the Philippines under martial law 50 years ago.

Ka Peter keeps repeating an old story, something Filipinos learned about almost 20 years ago, that the Communist Party of the Philippines planned and executed the Plaza Miranda bombing on 21 August 1971.

The mention of the CCP and its armed group, the New People’s Army, is the cue to link Ninoy — who was supposedly involved in their founding.

Juan Ponce Enrile and Gringo Honasan. | PHOTOGRAPH BY YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

All these claims are for the benefit of the group of vloggers listening intently to every word Johnny and Ka Peter and the rest say.

And that’s what this whole thing is all about — perception based on their own reality.

The highlight of the evening is Ka Peter apologizing to Imee for attempting to bring down her father’s administration. It almost seems as if he is going to kneel.

The following day, Imee is in the news. If she had her way, the reports say, she would grant total amnesty to all leftists, as well as all rightists, imprisoned for their beliefs.


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