No strong position to raise Marcos burial in peace talks—Jalandoni
National Democratic Front of the Philippines chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni on Monday said there had been “no strong position” to bring up the issue of a hero’s burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the ongoing peace negotiations between the Duterte government and the revolutionary movement.
In a chance interview after a forum at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Jalandoni said Marcos’ burial should be viewed alongside “more important” issues in the peace process such as land reform.
“It has to be seen in proportion to other major issues pero syempre ‘yung damdamin ng maraming tao it may build up, it has to be paid attention to. Siguro titignan kung ano ‘yung magiging decision ng Supreme Court,” Jalandoni said.
“Right now, there has been no strong position to bring it up to the peace talks because the issues of land reform and national industrialization and other issues of sovereignty and like are considered more principal and more affecting tens of millions of people,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte, himself a Marcos ally, has directed a state funeral with full military honors for the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite strong opposition from rights advocates and martial law victims. The Marcos dictatorship was marked by human rights violations, warrantless arrests and killings, forced disappearances, and curtailed press freedom, among other abuses.
Jalandoni said the “very strong feelings” of martial law victims will also be paid attention to, but maintained that “it has to be seen in proportion to other major issues.”
NDF representatives earlier said the Marcos burial issue would not be a hindrance to the peace talks, which is about to enter its second round in October.
The Supreme Court has extended to Oct. 18 its status quo ante order on the preparations for the planned burial which was originally slated for Sept. 18. JE
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