KMU to Villar: Rethink Hero’s Burial for Marcos, Learn Lessons of History

Media Release
February 22, 2010

Militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today called on leading presidential candidate Sen. Manny Villar to “learn the lessons of history” in the wake of the latter’s statement that he is “open” to giving a hero’s burial to former president Ferdinand Marcos.

Villar recently said he sees no problem in burying the former dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and that the latter’s accomplishments “should be viewed with a proper perspective.”

“Sen. Villar should learn the lessons of history with regard to the late dictator as well as how former president Joseph Estrada pushed for a hero’s burial for Marcos and was forced to backtrack by protests of the Filipino workers and people,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

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“Marcos is definitely not a hero. Heroes are individuals who serve the Filipino people. Marcos made the Filipino people serve him and his imperialist masters through iron-fisted rule. That’s not heroism,” added Labog.

The labor leader recalled what happened in 1998 when then-president Estrada agreed to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“The issue of a hero’s burial for Marcos was the first big issue of the Filipino workers and people against former president Estrada. Even before he was inaugurated as president, workers and people were already marching in the streets against his proposal,” Labog said.

While Labog acknowledged the fact that progressive legislators Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza are guest candidates of Villar’s Nacionalista Party, he said the Filipino workers and people will oppose a hero’s burial for Marcos under any government.

“We of course know that it is Sen. Villar who has the courage to take in Ka Satur and Ka Liza as guest candidates as well as aspects of progressives’ platform in his campaign. We remain firm, however, in opposing a hero’s burial for a dictator who caused so much poverty and suffering to the country,” Labog said.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog
KMU Chairperson

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