CHR reminds law enforcers of maximum tolerance in rallies
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) encouraged the public to “assert all their fundamental rights” as it joined the furor over the furtive burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani on Friday.
In a statement, the commission urged law enforcement agencies to exercise “maximum tolerance” in protest rallies against the burial, which the CHR called “patently unlawful.”
“The burial does not and cannot erase the uncontroverted fact of impunity for human rights violations committed during martial law that continues to demand justice,” the CHR said.
“The commission believes that the Filipino people shall always remain steadfast in asserting all their fundamental rights and will demand that freedom, rule of law and democracy must be protected and guaranteed at all times,” it added.
The CHR said the fact that the burial rites were kept from the public affirmed the Marcoses’ history of stealing from the nation’s coffers.
“He who lives the life of a thief, gets buried like a thief,” it said.
“They stole from the coffers of government and deprived us of our dignity. And like thieves, they now surreptitiously undertook a patently illegal act, totally disregarding the ongoing judicial process … and continue to deprive us of a just conclusion to a dark period in our nation’s history,” it added.
Black Friday protest
On Monday, Migrante International called on its chapters and all Filipinos worldwide to join the Black Friday Protest on Nov. 25 at Manila’s Rizal Park to express unity and rage against the burial.
“Wherever we are in the world, let us all gather together and hold accountable the Duterte administration and the Supreme Court for this travesty. Let us continue to struggle for justice, genuine freedom and democracy against a system that continues to breed dictators and oppressors,” Marra Macaspac, Migrante Youth spokesperson, said in a statement.
Protesters were urged to wear black and express their outrage through social media.
“Marcos is no hero. Generations upon generations of overseas Filipinos know this, especially those who were forced to flee the country in fear of their lives during martial law,” Macaspac said.
She pointed out that it was during Marcos’ time that the labor export policy was institutionalized.
Marcos’ burial, she said, was a grave injustice and insult to our living heroes, the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Now, four decades after, our OFWs continue to bear the brunt of this policy that has placed the domestic economy hostage to neoliberal dictates and the exploitation of our cheap labor,” Macaspac said.
In Bacolod City, some 300 members of Mothers and Relatives Against Tyranny and Repression Negros held a rally on Monday afternoon in front of the Fountain of Justice on Araneta Street to protest the Marcos interment last week.
The male protesters were dressed as devils dragging a black coffin bearing the pictures of Marcos and President Duterte.
They later torched the coffin, yelling “burn, burn” and shaking clenched fists.
“The coffin represents that of Marcos, who, despite the plunder of the nation and countless human rights abuses during his reign, was allowed to be buried at Libingan,” said Edgar Cadagat. —WITH REPORTS FROM DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN, ERIKA SAULER, TINA G. SANTOS AND CARLA GOMEZ