Immunity for Marcoses? Admit your sins first – Robredo

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said the Marcoses must first admit their sins before discussions on granting them immunity can begin.

Robredo on Wednesday, September 6, was asked to react to President Rodrigo Duterte saying that if he were the Marcoses, he would only return ill-gotten wealth to the government in exchange for immunity.

"'Yung sa akin kasi, bago pag-usapan 'yung immunity, dapat may pag-amin muna ng kasalanan. Mahirap magpatawad sa isang tao na 'di naman inaamin 'yung kasalanan," said Robredo on the sidelines of her Metro Laylayan livelihood program visit in Barangay 181 in Maricaban, Pasay City.

(For me, before we can even begin talking about immunity, there should be a confession of sins first. It's hard to forgive a person who does not admit his or her mistakes.)

The President, who counts the Marcoses as his allies, said none of the family members have asked for immunity, so far. Still, Duterte said only Congress can grant it to them.

Duterte "accepts" the explanation of the Marcoses that they were only hiding the money temporarily to "protect the economy" after martial law ended in 1981. (READ: Recovering Marcos' ill-gotten wealth: After 30 years, what?)

The President had also allowed a hero's burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos last year.

Robredo, however, does not share the same view. The Vice President, who was a human rights lawyer before joining government, said the Marcoses may end up escaping punishment over their ill-gotten wealth if they are granted immunity. (READ: Robredo: 'Never too late' for Marcoses to return all ill-gotten wealth)

"Tingin ko walang healing na mangyayari, walang immunity na dapat mangyari hangga't hindi pa inaamin 'yung kasalanan. Kasi gustong sabihin, gusto lang makalusot sa legal repercussions pero wala namang pag-amin ng pagkakasala," said Robredo. 

(There will be no healing and no immunity should be granted as long as they're not admitting their sins. Because what that means is that they only want to escape the legal repercussions without confessing.) 

The Vice President is a staunch critic of the abuses under the Marcos regime.

She is currently facing an electoral protest filed against her by the son and namesake of the late strongman, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.