Marcos burial not clash of clans, activists tell Duterte
Human rights activists on Wednesday contradicted President Rodrigo Duterte for saying the issue over the looming hero’s burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a “mere fight between two families.”
Activist group Sanlakas said the human rights violations and crimes of atrocities committed during the martial rule should remind Duterte that debates over his directive to bury the late strongman’s remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani were not just an issue between the Aquinos and the Marcoses.
“The Aquinos were not the only victims of martial law, nor are they the ones leading the condemnation of a hero’s burial for the late dictator,” said Sanlakas secretary general Aaron Pedrosa in a statement.
“The President cannot simply reduce the issue to a clash of political clans, especially if he is aware of the injustices and crimes committed by the Marcos dictatorship,” Pedrosa said.
In a dinner with Palace reporters on Tuesday evening, Duterte said he would proceed with the Libingan burial for Marcos as allowed by the Supreme Court, adding the issue was “just a fight between two families.”
“This has divided us. Whose column was it? It basically said this is a fight between the two families and we were just dragged into it,” the President said, referring to the Marcoses and the family of democracy icon and former President Corazon Aquino, who was instrumental in toppling the dictatorship.
Pedrosa said a hero’s burial for Marcos patriarch would not bring closure and healing to the country, but instead had “rubbed salt on the wounds of a people subjected to the horrors of martial law and tyrannical rule under Marcos.”
“A hero’s burial for Marcos will not give closure to the families and the memory of those who were denied dignity and rights under his tyranny,” he said. “Nor will it absolve the present and future generations of the $26.7-billion debt we will be paying as late as 2025, almost 40 years after Marcos’s regime ended.”
The group also denounced the Senate’s failure to pass a resolution against Marcos’ burial, saying there seemed to be a “unity among Marcos apologists in all branches of government to subdue the cry for justice.”
Voting 9-5, the high tribunal last week junked all petitions against Duterte’s directive to bury the late dictator at the heroes’ cemetery despite strong opposition from martial law victims, rights advocates, and the general public. Duterte said those opposing the burial should have pushed for a law denying Marcos’ interment at the LNMB.
“The Supreme Court did a Pontius Pilate in its pro-Marcos decision. Far from upholding the Constitution—the by-product of the people’s uprising against the Marcos dictatorship—the Supreme Court hid behind legalese that denied historical facts and the intent of the fundamental law,” Pedrosa said.
“The last word on the matter, however, rests on the Filipino people who have every right to resist any attempt to deodorize the atrocities committed by Marcos. We have demonstrated this when we ousted the dictatorship in 1986,” he said.
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