Andanar draws more flak
Martial law victims hit out on Tuesday at Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar for branding them “temperamental brats” for opposing the burial of the late tyrant Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Bonifacio Ilagan, convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma), said survivors of the martial law regime and their families had been consistent in their fight against “historical revisionism” and the resurgence of the Marcos family in national politics.
He lamented that Andanar brought the debate “to the gutter level of insults” by portraying torture victims as vindictive people who have an “awesome capacity for nurturing hate.”
“Mr. Andanar, we are driven by nothing less than our sense of justice and dignity as a people,” Ilagan said in a statement. “As victims of martial law and at the risk of life and limb then and now, we have been consistent in the pursuit of truth and justice.”
He said the views espoused by President Duterte’s chief mouthpiece “confirm the kind of political patronage showered upon the Marcoses by those in power” following the late strongman’s downfall through a “people power” uprising in 1986.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman branded Andanar an “incorrigible brat” for failing to understand his country’s recent history.
“Closure is the happy and welcome ending to a tragedy or misfortune,” said Lagman, whose brother, Harmon, was a labor leader who went missing during martial law. “In the case of the burial of the late dictator in Libingan, there will never be closure because it will reopen the wounds of oppression.”
He said the petitioners in the case were to meet on Wednesday to discuss filing of a motion for reconsideration.
Ilagan, also the vice chair of Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, said Andanar’s kind of opinion helped the Marcos family’s “political rehabilitation” as well as minimized the people’s suffering during the dictatorship.
Edre Olalia, a lawyer for martial law victims, branded Andanar’s opinion as “lunatic” and his description of those against Marcos’ transfer to Libingan as “arrogant hubris.”
“Counter-arguing that ‘what is moral may not be legal’ is pathetically senseless, if not comical. You’ve had one too many,” Olalia said.
In his Nov. 14 column “Brew Point” in the Inquirer, Andanar argued that the Supreme Court had already voted to uphold the President’s authority to bury the decades-long debate by allowing Marcos’ internment at Libingan.
Andanar wrote that those continuing to object the burial despite the Supreme Court ruling were “undermining” the constitution. “They are temperamental brats refusing to concede to the outcome of regular processes,” he said.
Andanar has since apologized after his remarks sparked a firestorm of criticisms, including those from the President’s allies.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III told Andanar to “review your history,” saying the arguments against the Marcos burial were “actually principled stands.”
60 percent complete
Philippine Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said preparations for granting “military honors” to Marcos were on track, with about 60 percent already complete. He said the site measured 10 meters by 10 meters, and was next to the resting place of other presidents—Carlos Garcia, Elpidio Quirino and Diosdado Macapagal.
Funeral honors would include arrival honors, a funeral march, tributes, final benediction, and three volleys of fire and playing of Taps. No final date however has been set, Hao said. —WITH REPORTS FROM CYNTHIA D. BALANA AND NIKKO DIZON
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