Rody: Poll numbers justify Marcos burial
DAVAO CITY—President Duterte pointed to the number of votes that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s son, Bongbong, got in the vice presidential race to justify his decision to bury the late strongman at Libingan ng mga Bayani, a burial ground for soldiers and war heroes.
Mr. Duterte said the number of votes cast for Bongbong, who lost by a narrow margin to Vice President Leni Robredo, only showed that there is “no such thing as Marcos trauma” anymore among Filipinos.
Duterte, who is sticking to his decision to bury Marcos at Libingan amid growing opposition from martial law victims, said Marcos lost the vice presidential race by a mere 200,000 votes.
This only means that Filipinos have forgotten, or are no longer concerned over what happened during martial law, the President said.
“The number was very minimal,” Mr. Duterte said, referring to Robredo’s lead over Bongbong, a former senator.
“If that’s an indication, there was no such thing as a Marcos trauma (among the Filipino people),” he said.
“Just look at the results of the election. Even Bongbong Marcos, if he wasn’t cheated, he could have won,” Mr. Duterte said.
He said the debate on whether to bury Marcos at Libingan is dividing the nation and would continue to do so. That’s why it’s time to proceed with the burial and move on, said the President.
“All the Ilocanos, who are also Filipinos, are hurting because of what the Yellows have done, including my mother,” Duterte said, referring to the Yellow Friday Movement, led by his mother, Nanay Soling, in Davao, that helped oust Marcos and put former President Corazon Aquino in power.
“My mother is already dead, so, everything is gone, including the politics of martial law,” he said.
Some of the survivors of martial law, who are not part of the Yellow Movement in Davao, said the burial of Marcos at Libingan would be tantamount to forgetting the injustices committed by the Marcos dictatorship during which at least 3,257 people were killed, 35,000 tortured, 70,000 jailed and 737 went missing.
Fe Salino, secretary general of the political detainees’ group Selda, said victims of martial law have yet to get justice for the abuses committed against them by martial law and allowing Marcos’ burial at Libingan would be another form of injustice.
On the Supreme Court order suspending preparations for the burial of Marcos at Libingan, Mr. Duterte said “we could no longer do anything about it but I will follow the law.”
He said under the law, Marcos is qualified to be buried at Libingan. “Whether he is a hero or not, I don’t care. I merely follow the law,” said the President.
“Human rights (advocates), I cannot argue with you because I’m limited to the law. Whether I favor the opposition or side with their family, I’m forced to follow the law,” Duterte said.
“If we are to play with the numbers game, yes, 14.15 million voted for Marcos Jr. but more did not vote for him,” said Mags Maglana, spokesperson of Konsensya Dabaw: Hugpong Dabawenyo para LNMBatac.
“Of the 26.91 million Filipinos who voted for the vice president position, 14.41 million Pinoys supported the winner who ran on an antidictatorship platform,” Maglana said. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao
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