Senatorial aspirant Harry Roque believes that presidential hopeful Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. should apologize for the state atrocities committed during his father’s dictatorship.
Roque, however, stressed that Marcos should not be forced to say he was sorry, adding that he thinks that the former senator was not an “evil person” as “portrayed” by critics.
“It is up to him if he wants to apologize [or] if they feel there’s a need then they should,” he said in an interview with ANC.
“It would be better (if Marcos Jr. apologizes), but it’s not something I would insist upon because that’s not the nature of an apology,” he added.
Roque, who previously backed indemnification efforts for martial law victims, is seeking a Senate seat under the ticket of Marcos and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte-Carpio.
In an effort to defend his decision to run with Marcos, Roque believed that the Palace hopeful was not implicated in his family’s ill-gotten wealth cases.
“All I’m saying is, having done my due diligence, that this guy has no pending case where there was a judgment that he was guilty of plunder or that there was a civil judgment against him in the United States,” he said. “I don’t see why I should not run with him.”
Roque added that he had seen the presidential aspirant “completely different from the public perception” during their previous meetings.
“He’s just very unassuming, very humble. And I guess from a personal level, I don’t think he is the evil person that I portray the dictatorship to be,” he said.
Roque’s defense of Marcos was in contrast with his 2018 statement where he, as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson, said that the latter could not distort events during his father’s regime.
The former Palace official had earlier admitted he is supporting Marcos because no other candidate had adopted him in their senatorial slates.
The Daily Tribune sought the comment of the Marcos camp on Roque’s pronouncements. His chief of staff, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, has yet to respond at press time.
Marcos, in his previous interviews, repeatedly rejected calls for him to apologize for the atrocities committed during the martial law period from 1972 to 1986, when thousands of activists have been jailed and killed and billions were plundered from the nation’s coffers.
His family has also been accused of utilizing vast networks of a disinformation campaign to rebuild its political reputation.
The Marcoses repeatedly denied the allegations despite facts stating otherwise.