Son defends Marcos over Philippine generals in drag

AFP, MANILA

Sun, Apr 14, 2013 - Page 4

Deposed Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos’ son has rejected a recently released US government account that his late father forced military chiefs to parade in drag at a birthday party.

Philippine Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr said he had himself seen generals perform skits which were “meant to make the audience laugh,” but the account of them being made to dress in drag against their will was “like a stereotypical scene” from a Hollywood film.

According to declassified secret cables that were published by whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks this week, Marcos forced his military chiefs to parade as women during a tasteless, sycophantic birthday party planned by his unstable wife.

The documents were among a series of blistering criticisms of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos made by US ambassador to the Philippines in the mid-1970s, William Sullivan.

“Assuming the reported communication were true that some generals were in women’s clothes during a party at the Palace, I’m sure it was all done in the spirit of merriment and entertainment,” Ferdinand Marcos Jr said in a post on his Facebook page.

“If what then-ambassador [Sullivan] watched was beneath his taste, I’m afraid that’s personal to him,” Marcos Jr wrote.

The senator, now 55, said he was attending school in England at the time of the party in question but added that he had also seen the generals on occasion perform a skit “meant to make the audience laugh.”

He did not say whether the skits involved dressing up in drag, but he rejected the diplomat’s account of the generals being made to dress up as women against their will.

“That sounds like a stereotypical scene of a Hollywood film depicting a banana republic,” he said, adding that “many American diplomats of that era” tended to treat the people of developing countries “like second-class citizens.”