‘Hero’s burial for Marcos will cause divisiveness’
Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution in the Senate against former President Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), saying he was “unfit” to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery.
In the resolution filed on Monday, Hontiveros noted that the cemetery was the designated resting place for Filipino soldiers, war veterans, and citizens considered as heroes and martyrs.
The cemetery, the resolution said, had been created “to honor the memory of our brave countrymen who fought for freedom and liberties even in the face of superior force, so that the present generation may remember and emulate their legacy.”
While the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) regulation regarding the allocation of cemetery plots at the LNMB allows for the burial of former presidents, Hontiveros said, an exception was provided for those who were convicted of offenses involving moral turpitude.
“In the case of Hilao v. Estate of Marcos, the jury found the estate of defendant Ferdinand Marco liable to 10,059 plaintiffs for the acts of torture, summary execution and disappearance. This conviction should suffice to disqualify Marcos from being buried at the heroes’ cemetery,” she said.
“Allowing the former President to be buried at the Libingan will only cause further divisiveness, and will reopen old wounds, especially as the country is also in the process of providing reparations to Martial Law victims,” the senator added.
She said President Rodrigo Duterte could not end the rule of oligarchs in the country “by honoring the very man who created a crony oligarchy during Martial Law.”
“Now therefore be it resolved as hereby resolved to express the sense that former President Marcos should not be allowed to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, given findings of crimes involving moral turpitude as well as the human rights violations that occurred during his administration,” the resolution said.
Duterte has declared war not only against illegal drugs but also against oligarchs in the country, whom he described as “monsters.”
But for someone who publicly disapproves of oligarchs, Hontiveros said the President’s decision to give Marcos a hero’s burial was the “height of contradiction.”
Instead of burying Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery, the senator said the Duterte government should just lay the remains of the late strongman in his hometown or some other place “that will not serve to distort history, assail democracy and insult all those who fought and died to end the dictatorship.”
“This is the more appropriate resolution that the government can pursue on this matter rather than yield to the Marcoses’ attempt to paint a rosy picture of the dictatorship, rehabilitate their image and whitewash their crimes against the people,” Hontiveros said in a statement. IDL/rga
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