Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Militants, solons join march vs Marcoses

Militant groups and lawmakers, bypassed Cabinet nominees and martial law victims will march on Monday to Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, not so much to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos as to demand the return of his ill-gotten wealth and oppose any immunity agreement between the Marcoses and the Duterte administration.

Bonifacio Ilagan, lead convener of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma), said President Duterte had “significantly sped up” the Marcos family’s political rehabilitation and “opened the doors wide open for the resurrection of the Marcosian ideology.”

“Clearly, Mr. Duterte is fascinated with [Marcos’] style of governance, which is anchored on right-wing populism and absolute reliance on a strongman—dictator even,” Ilagan told the Inquirer.

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Malacañang earlier declared Sept. 11 a holiday in the Marcos stronghold of Ilocos Norte, citing his legacy as a “World War II veteran, distinguished legislator and former President.”

“Duterte is reinforcing blind regionalism and blind loyalty which has long been a curse on our culture,” Ilagan said. “Now it is a holiday in Ilocos Norte. Then it will be a holiday for the whole Philippines.”

He said recent efforts to cleanse the Marcoses’ national image were motivated by reported plans of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos to run for President in 2022, and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, for the Senate in 2019.

Carmma will be joined on Monday by Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), leftist lawmakers from the Makabayan bloc, former Sen. Rene Saguisag, and former Cabinet secretaries Judy Taguiwalo and Rafael Mariano.

Carmma and Selda will be holding a protest program at the military-run cemetery, simultaneous with the Marcoses’ family-organized commemoration.

National minorities from Mindanao, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, the Cordilleras, and Northern Luzon will join the protest march. The caravan will convene at 7:30 a.m. at Elliptical Road, Quezon City, before marching to the heroes’ cemetery.

The commemoration is neither open to the public nor to the media, with the family only sending out invites to serve as a gate pass to the otherwise public cemetery.

“As far as I can remember, it is only now that we will protest on the birthday of ‘Makoy,’” Ilagan told the Inquirer by phone. “Normally, we don’t even recognize it.”

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The Presidential proclamation of the Sept. 11 as a holiday in Ilocos Norte, Mr. Duterte’s earlier admission that the Marcoses had donated to his Presidential campaign, his moves to allow a hero’s burial for the late dictator and his recent talks with the Marcos family to facilitate the return of suspected ill-gotten wealth possibly in exchange for their “immunity,” only show the President “is in cahoots with the plan of the Marcoses to come back into power,” Ilagan said.

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TAGS: Bonifacio Iloagan, Carmma, Ferdinand Marcos, Libingan ng mga Bayani, Marcos 100th birth anniversary, Marcos Family, Rodrigo Duterte, SELDA
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