By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) is unacceptable for victims of Martial Law, a cabinet member of the Duterte administration said.
Secretary Judy Taguiwalo of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), one of the thousands of young activists detained and tortured during martial law, told Baguio-based journalists, “the burial of the person responsible for thousands of deaths, torture and other gross human rights violations at the LNMB would be very painful to the victims and survivors of Martial Law.”
“I have been asked earlier about this (Marcos burial) and my answer has not changed, Marcos is not a hero,” Taguiwalo said.
The burial of Marcos’ remains at the LNMB around lunch time on November 18 attended by family and a few supporters ignited protests.
Taguiwalo said she was twice arrested and tortured during the Marcos regime. She was first arrested in July 1973 but escaped in November 1974. She was again caught on January 1974 and was only released in 1986 after the EDSA uprising ousted Marcos. She said that she was pregnant during her second arrest and gave birth inside prison.
“You must understand that my personal stand on the Marcos burial comes from this background… I was arrested and heavily tortured by the Marcos regime,” she said.
According to the Samahan ng mga Ex-political Detainees Laban sa Aresto (Selda) around 70,000 were incarcerated, 30,000 tortured and over 3,000 were victims of extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance.
Taguiwalo said that she does not want a rift between her and President Rodrigo Duterte. “The President knows where I stand personally (about the Marcos burial) and he respects it,” she said.
She said they may differ in opinion about the Marcos burial but they are united when it comes to the welfare of the poor. She said the President’s concern for the welfare of the poor is genuine. # nordis.net