Former Sen. Bongbong Marcos. FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — “May we invite you to instead talk to the victims and surviving families of the Martial Law regime?”
The Ateneo de Manila University’s Martial Law Museum offered this proposition to actress Toni Gonzaga as it criticized the latter’s interview with former senator Bongbong Marcos on her Toni Talks Youtube show.
According to the museum, Gonzaga’s sit-down interview with the son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has “contributed to the Marcos family’s attempts to whitewash their human-rights violations and its proven historical record.”
“Inviting the son of a murderous and corrupt dictator of our country to your show benefits no one and pushes back the struggle to gain justice from the atrocities committed by the Marcos regime and against historical revisionism running rampant amongst our people,” the museum said in an open letter to Gonzaga on Wednesday (Sept. 15).
Open Letter to Toni GonzagaDear Ms. Gonzaga,We are the Ateneo Martial Law Museum, a digital museum housed in the…
The episode, titled “The Greatest Lesson Bongbong Marcos Learned From His Father,” earned the ire of netizens who accused the actress of giving Bongbong a platform to “humanize and change the image of his dad.”
“Hindi maaaring maging neutral sa laban ng kasamaan at kabutihan sa ngalan ng pagiging “patas” dahil hindi patas ang mga bagay. Bilang Kapamilya, nakakalungkot ito,” tweeted screenwriter Jerry Gracio, who reminded Gonzaga that it was former President Marcos who first shut down media giant ABS-CBN.
(One cannot be neutral in the fight between good and evil in the name of “fairness” because things are not fair. As a Kapamilya, this is saddening.)
The Martial Law Museum also echoed this sentiment, pointing out that the “propagandistic lies peddled by Marcos on [her] show, and the lies peddled by those who had orchestrated the current shutdown of [her] own home network ABS-CBN, are fruits from the same tree.”
It further urged celebrities and influencers to use their platforms and privilege to amplify the narratives and struggles of martial law victims as it will be “much more inspirational for [the] audience than talking to anyone from the Marcos family.”
“These are the stories that celebrities and influencers should strive to popularize and disseminate as they are exemplary models of how we can strive to create a better country for everyone,” the museum said.
“We owe a lot to those who sacrificed their lives in order to fight for our freedom and democracy,” it added.
Gonzaga is yet to address the criticism surrounding her interview, which has now over 1.4 million views on Youtube as of writing.
The issue proves relevant as the Philippines is set to commemorate the 49th anniversary of martial law under Marcos, a 14-year period of civil unrest marked with various human rights violations.
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