Much has already been said about the historical revisionism, callousness and political implications of the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The accountability of President Duterte for allowing the burial, as well as that of all post-martial law presidents for their political accommodation of the Marcoses and their failure to pursue them for their crimes against the people have been well articulated, especially by progressive groups.
There would be rallies on November 25 and 30, with the first initiated by the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) and Bayan and the second by groups identified with the Liberal Party and the pro-Aquino forces. Two diametrically opposed groups with the latter sniping at the former but nevertheless protesting against the same issue: the burial of the dictator Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. An unfortunate incident but none the less expected considering the political realities in the country.
We would not have anything more to add to what has already been said, but would like to point at something positive in all these events.
We believe that the Marcos family’s insistence on burying the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, when they could have buried him at Batac, Ilocos Norte where the family’s support is strongest, was intended at making a political statement and propelling the son Bongbong Marcos to the political limelight toward his run for the presidency. If the Marcoses would have their way, they would have buried the dictator with a lot of fanfare, bringing his remains by land all the way from Ilocos Norte to Manila and with a grandiose burial rivaling that of Edgar Jopson, Macliing Dulag, Ninoy and Cory Aquino, Felixberto and Rolando Olalia, and Lean Alejandro.
Instead, perhaps fearing the protests it would generate, the Marcos family had to bury their patriarch “like thieves in the night.” The only difference is that thieves in the night preying on sleeping victims are usually small time crooks. Big time crooks do it in broad daylight, just like the Marcoses.
This in itself is a victory for the Filipino people. We were able to force the Marcoses to do it stealthily thereby defeating the very purpose of why they insisted on burying the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in the first place.
Not only that. The burial resulted in the exact opposite of their intentions. They were not able to erase the memories of the human rights abuses and wide-scale theft during the Marcos dictatorship. The burial rekindled the memories of those who lived through those dark times and survived. And it informed the youth on the human rights abuses and kleptocracy of the Marcos dictatorship.
Never again became the rallying call.
Let us join the protest rallies against the burial of the dictator Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the abuses of martial law. Even as the rallies against the burial of the dictator Marcos would eventually die down, let us continue informing the public about the crimes of the Marcoses against the people and making our voices heard. Let us utilize all forms and platforms for protest to bury the Marcoses into political oblivion.
While we are at it, let us warn President Duterte that the Filipino people would not tolerate another martial law, not even a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.