Dictator’s burial fuels outrage

By JEOFFREY MHAR LARUA and KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
www.nordis.net

BAGUIO CITY — Despite protests nationwide, late dictator Ferdinand Marcos has been buried in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB), November 18, in an interment shrouded in secrecy.

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Peoples’ and youth organizations held an indignation rally hours after Marcos’ body was secretly flown into the heroes’ cemetery at around noon for his burial.

“Ang pagtatago ng pamilyang Marcos sa paglibing sa dating diktador ay nagpapakita lamang ng kahihiyan nila sa harap ng mamamayan,” University of the Philippines Baguio student Micah de Leon said.

“Hindi ito hakbang patungo sa sinasabi nilang paghihilom.”

The secret burial came after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled last week allowing the late dictator to be buried among the heroes in LNMB, where veterans, former presidents and national artists have been interred.

Around 100 students, rights defenders and Martial Law survivors gathered in front of the Baguio City Convention Center for the indignation rally.

A thief

“Talaga ngang magnanakaw ang pamilyang Marcos. Mula sa pera hanggang sa paglilibing, ninanakaw pa rin,” stressed Imelda Tabiando, secretary general of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance.

In a 2004 report, Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, ranked Marcos — 2nd only to Suharto — as the most corrupt leader of all time.

According to a statement released by the local chapter of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the burial was classic of the late dictator.

The campus press alliance, which is the national center for the advancement of campus press freedom, said that the secrecy of the burial is “typical for a thief like Marcos”.

“We can clearly see how the government disregarded the pleas of the people. Duterte and the Supreme Court’s approval only instigates historical revisionism among the ranks of the people,” the Guild said.

Duterte has been very vocal about his approval of the burial of the late dictator in the heroes cemetery. However, the secret funeral held Friday, November 18 shocked anti-Marcos and human rights activists who planned a ‘Black Friday Protest’ all over the country.

Never forget

Brenda Subido, secretary general of the Samahan ng mga Ex-political Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) Northern Luzon said the burial of Marcos at the LNMB is a slap on the face of martial law victims.

Subido was among the student activists who were illegally arrested, tortured and detained during the Martial Law period.

“How can you move on from a horrific experience when the person responsible for your torture is allowed a hero’s burial, we can never forget the atrocities perpetrated against the people by the Marcos dictatorship,” Subido said.

Selda records showed that of the 70,000 arrested over 30,000 were tortured under the Marcos dictatorship. The same record showed that there were over 3,000 victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance during the Marcos regime.

Hold accountable

Tracy Dumalo of the Tongtongan ti Umili said President Rodrigo Duterte together with the nine Supreme Court justices and the Marcos family should be held accountable for the burial of the remains of the late dictator LNMB.

Dumalo said it is ironic for a president who claims to be leftist to abandon the leftists who were victims of torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances under the late dictator’s regime.

“Kung tunay kang leftist hindi mo iiwan ang mga leftist na naging biktima ng martial law,” Dumalo said.

Dumalo also said the nine justices who voted for Marcos’ burial at LNMB are equally accountable to the people. She said the nine justices did not only fail to give justice to Martial Law victims and survivors but rather committed an injustice against them.

“Hindi bayani si Marcos dahil ang tunay na bayani ipinaglalaban at pinagsisilbihan ang interes ng mamamayan, si Marcos linapastangan ang karapatan ng mamamayan at nagpakatuta sa mga Amerikano,” Dumalo said.

She further said that the Marcos family should be held accountable for continuously undermining the people’s rights.

“Katulad ng pagnanakaw ng mga Marcos sa kaban ng bayan, nakaw ding inilibing ang diktador sa LNMB kaninang tanghaling tapat, at kautulad ng paglapastangan ng diktador noon sa karapatan ng mamamayan, muling niyurakan ng kanyang angkan ang karapatan ng mamamayan,” Dumalo said. # nordis.net

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