Children of late strongman Marcos and human rights champion file Senate candidacy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 16) — The daughter of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and the son of the late statesman dubbed as the country's "Father of Human Rights" faced off when they filed their candidacy for their Senate bids at the same time on Tuesday.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel "Chel" Diokno are both vying for one of the 12 seats in the Senate.

Marcos was heckled at the Comelec main office by Diokno's supporters, chanting "Marcos Hitler! Diktador! Tuta!"

Diokno said running against Marcos is like déjà vu of when his father Jose "Ka Pepe" Diokno ran against the late Marcos in the Senate.

"Parang naulit lang ang kasaysayan. Noong panahon ng tatay ko ang katapat niya ay tatay niya. Sa akin ay, bring it on and let's see what will happen," he said.

The late Diokno was the founder of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights, which is now known today as the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). CHR was created as a response to the atrocities committed during martial law during Marcos' 21-year reign as president.

The senatorial aspirant, who is  also the chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group, said he can work with Marcos should they both be elected.

"I'll deal with it with proper decorum and I will stand my ground and stand up for what is right," Diokno said.

He said he will fight for the upholding of human rights if he wins a Senate seat, adding it is an all-encompassing protection for Filipinos.

"Ang human rights, sakop niyan lahat. Hindi lang civil and political rights, kung hindi pati economic, cultural, and social rights. Right to food, kasama iyan. Lahat iyon ay magiging kasama sa tungkulin ko," Diokno said.

Meanwhile, Imee Marcos said she believes the younger generation is ready to hear the true story during her father's rule.

"Palagay ko may pagbabago na rin ang pag-unawa sa nakalipas, so I think that the new generation, particularly the millennial generation, are ready to hear our side of the story," she said.

She remained firm her family will not admit to the atrocities committed during Marcos' reign - such as the extrajudicial killings and ill-gotten wealth. The Marcos family has apologized, but only to those "inadvertently" hurt during martial law.

"Ilang beses na rin akong nag-apologize sa mga nasaktan sa mga hindi inaasahang pangyayari. Kung ang inaasahan o dinidemand ay 'yung admission, palagay ko ay hindi naman pwede iyon," she said.

Related: Look: Marcoses’ ‘ill-gotten’ jewels and how these could have helped Filipinos

Diokno refuted this, saying, "Alam naman natin ang katotohanan noong panahon na 'yon. The facts are there, it is fully documented."

Related: Revisiting martial law reparations five years later