By JEOFFREY MHAR LARUA and DIVINE PEÑAFLOR
BAGUIO CITY — Cordillerans outraged by the 9-5-1 ruling by the high court, November 8, allowing Ferdinand Marcos’ burial in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LMNB) took to the streets in condemnation, as did thousands of Filipinos nationwide.
On Tuesday (November 8), hours after the Supreme Court (SC) verdict, students from the University of the Philippines Baguio (UPB) and Saint Louis University (SLU) staged an indignation rally in UPB’s Main Lobby along with Martial Law victims and other youth organizations.
Paul Soriano, of the UPB University Student Council, said that the protest action is not only to condemn the SC ruling but to remind everyone that historical revisionism can be made in consonance with the law.
“Ang paglilibing kay Marcos sa Libingan ng Mga Bayani ay hindi lamang insulto sa mga bayaning nakahimlay dito ngunit pati na rin sa buong sambayanan at mga katutubo na binastos ng regimeng Marcos,” said Soriano.
The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), meanwhile, held a larger multi-sectoral rally, November 11, as did thousands of Filipinos nationwide in a ‘National Day of Rage’ against Marcos’ hero’s burial chanting “Marcos, Hitler, Diktador, Tuta!” and “Ang tao and bayan, tuloy-tuloy ang laban!”
According to CHRA’s Imelda Tabiando, the people are charging the nine magistrates who favored Marcos’ Libingan burial. “Ang siyam na hokum na nagbigay ng pahintulot na ilibing ang tuta, diktador, at pasista na si Marcos ay mas lalong pinagiting ang hindi paghilom at inhustisya sa hanay ng mamamamyan,” she added.
“Nagpapatuloy ang paglaban ng mamamayan hindi lamang laban sa paglibing kay Marcos, ngunit pati na rin sa sistema ng pang-aspi na namamayagpag ngayon,” Tabiando said.
Meanwhile, for Luke Bagangan of Anakbayan Cordillera, a youth mass organization, the legacy of injustice brought about by the Marcos regime goes on up to this day.
“Paano natin masasabi na patay na si Marcos kung patuloy ang pagpatay, kung patuloy ang pagtaas ng utang ng sambayanan, pagtaas ng presyo at pagtaas ng matrikula sa hanay ng kabataan?” stressed Bagangan during the November 11 rally.
The youth leader highlighted various human rights violations in the Cordillera from the Marcos regime up to the intensified OPLAN Bayanihan by former president Benigno S. Aquino III.
“Kaya’t sa hanap ng kabataan, nagpapatuloy ang diwang palaban na sinimulan ng tunay na mga bayani na lumaban sa pasistang rehimeng US-Marcos,” he said. “Sa tunay na pakikibaka lamang tunay na maililibing si Marcos at ang sistema na mapang-api na dala-dala nito hanggang ngayon,”
The indignation rally also included a testimony from Martial Law victim Brenda Subido of the Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA).
In a statement on the SC ruling, the local chapter of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) here said that “the ruling bastardized the term ‘bayani’” and only encouraged historical revisionism among the ranks of the people.
“The ruling disregarded the collective struggles of the people during the US-Marcos regime in the fight for democracy,” said the campus press alliance.
The Guild, which is the largest and only-existing alliance of tertiary student publications in the Asia-Pacific also highlighted the countless press freedom violations unleashed by the regime in an effort to silence the campus press as watchdogs of the administration. In Baguio-Benguet, the student publications of Saint Louis University, then-University of the Philippines College Baguio, Baguio Colleges Foundation, and Baguio Central University were among those affected by Marcos’ attack on the campus press.
“Shutting down the press is shutting down the people’s fundamental right to know,” the Guild said.
Marcos, elected president in 1965, was re-elected in 1969 and oversaw a 20-year dictatorship after declaring Martial Law in 1972. He passed away on September 28, 1987 in Hawaii and was only flown back to the country four years after.
His remains are still encased in glass in Batac, Ilocos Norte. # nordis.net