‘75K reasons for denying Marcos burial’
THERE are 75,730 reasons why the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos does not deserve a hero’s burial, former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair Loretta Ann Rosales said in an open letter to exiled Communist Party of the Philippines leader Jose Maria Sison.
Rosales, herself a survivor of martial law abuse, was referring to the number of victims with pending claims before the Human Rights Victims Claims Board for the atrocities committed against them between 1972 and 1986 when Marcos was president.
In her letter, Rosales reproached Sison for saying recently that he found it fitting that Marcos be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as he would be in the company of past presidents who were “traitors” to the Filipino people.
“Marcos, even though he was a fake soldier for a long time, was a true soldier during the Bataan [siege]. So he may be buried there,” Sison had told a press conference via Skype on Thursday.
Sison, in self-exile in the Netherlands, is expected to return to the Philippines for peace talks between the government and the communist leadership with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte going out of his way to welcome the Left back.
Rosales said it would be the “height of irony” for the Philippine government to accord Marcos a hero’s burial when the law itself recognizes the sacrifices of thousands of Filipinos martyred during the dictatorship.
Height of irony
“Is it not the height of irony then that the road to peace and reconciliation should start with giving Ferdinand Marcos, the oppressor of martial law martyrs, recognition as a hero by allowing to have him buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani?” she said.
“This is, in fact, buckling down to the pressure of the Marcos family to revise history under martial rule—a history of heinous crimes, of plunder and massive corruption where $618 million that had grown from the Swiss dummy foundations of Marcos had been ruled as ill-gotten by the Supreme Court of the Philippines more than a decade ago in 2004,” she said.
“While the entire Filipino nation fully supports the road to peace between the communists and the Philippine republic, this road must be anchored on a healing process of truth, compassion and justice,” she added.
Rosales said making Marcos out to be some kind of hero by burying him at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be “a betrayal of the Filipino people’s historical struggle against martial rule and repression.”
“It smacks more of a sell-out, a cop-out, and to what ends? Who is to benefit by this arrangement that is now being explored by a few individuals at the top of the ladder?” she said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.