Bongbong Marcos not sorry for father's reign: 'I can only apologize for what I have done'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 7) — Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos said he was not sorry for the atrocities committed by his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, during martial law.

"I can only apologize for myself, and I am willing to do that if I have done something wrong and if that neglect or that wrongdoing has been damaging to somebody," he told CNN Philippines' The Source on Thursday.

During the interview, the younger Marcos was asked whether he will apologize for the crimes committed during martial law from 1972 to 1981, an era fraught with widespread corruption and human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and illegal detention.

Marcos said however that apologies are simply not enough for some groups, and he can only be sorry for "a specific wrongdoing" which he himself did.

"No matter what apologies you give, it won't be enough. It's not been enough because the political forces opposing my father, let us remember, his government fell. They won. That side of the political aisle has been dominant since 1986," he said, referring to the People Power Revolution that ended his father's dictatorship.

Rights group Amnesty International estimates some 70,000 people were imprisoned and 34,000 tortured under the 20-year Marcos regime. Meanwhile, over 11,000 fell victim to summary execution, torture, and other human rights violations, according to the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act.

The law recognizes “the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations” under the Marcos regime through monetary or non-monetary reparations sourced from the ₱10 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth retrieved by the government.

The Sandiganbayan recently ordered a bank to pay the government around ₱96 million and $5.43 million, the principal amounts of bank certificates believed to be part of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth.

READ: Sandiganbayan orders return of hundreds of millions in Marcos ill-gotten wealth to govt 

Marcos' mother Imelda, meanwhile, enjoys temporary freedom after the anti-graft court allowed her to avail of legal remedies in the wake of her graft conviction for using her government position to maintain Swiss bank accounts during her husband's rule.

The presidential aspirant said his family will "let the court decide" on the matter.