Hundreds denounce plan to bury Marcos at Libingan ng Bayani
Protesters on Sunday denounced President Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani, saying it trampled upon history and betrayed the memory of those slain during the dark days in the country’s history.
Martial law victims, legislators, artists, civil society and religious groups, students and other concerned citizens gathered on a rainy Sunday morning at the Luneta Park in Manila and appealed to Duterte to reconsider his decision.
Their banners and chants declared: “Marcos is not a hero.”
“It makes us cry, those of us who experienced abuse. Many of us were sexually abused. Whoever said that the Marcos years were a golden age [for the country]?’ How should I say he is a hero?” said Aida Santos, a martial law victim like her father and husband.
For former Akbayan Representative Walden Bello, burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be a travesty.
“Burying Marcos at the Libingan would be rewarding deceit, greed, and crimes against humanity. Its message would be that dictatorship is okay. It would give the wrong signal to the young,” said Bello in an impassioned speech before a crowd of some 1,000 people, mostly clad in white.
Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros also blasted the plan, saying it would distort history.
De Lima, among those outspoken against Duterte’s policies, said burying Marcos at a resting place for heroes would be tantamount to “erasing the memory of the monster that was the Marcos regime.”
“Burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be killing the remaining strength of the Filipino to stand against the return of dictatorship,” De Lima said.
“Marcos’s burial among heroes means tyranny can rule this country again. Let us not give anybody the chance to be a tyrant of this country once again. Never again to tyranny. Never again to dictatorship. Never again!” she said to the applause of the crowd.
“Nakakahiya po kina Lapu-Lapu at (national hero Jose) Rizal na ilibing siya sa Libingan ng mga Bayani,” said Hontiveros at the event held at the foot of Lapu-Lapu’s monument at the park named after the national hero.
“Ang libingan ay para sa mga bayani, hindi para sa mga pumatay sa mga bayani,” she said in reference to the Filipinos who laid their lives to fight martial rule.
During the roughly three-hour citizen’s assembly, participants also signed up for a signature drive to be sent to the President in an effort to change his mind about the burial plan.
Duterte said last week that he would allow Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, leaving it up to the family when to inter the late dictator, whose body has been in an air-conditioned crypt in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
He died while in exile in Hawaii in September 1989, more than three years after he was ousted by a peaceful revolt on Edsa. He ruled the country for 21 years, leaving the country with ill-gotten wealth estimated at between $5 billion and $10 billion, a national debt of $26 billion, and a people reeling from years of repression, abuses and murders.
Duterte is close to the Marcos family as his late father Vicente served in the Marcos cabinet. /rga
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.