Will burying former President Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani bring matters to a close for the late dictator’s family and for the country?
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., his son and namesake, thinks so.
The defeated vice presidential candidate on Saturday said a September burial was being eyed for the late strongman, but no details were finalized when he discussed the matter with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City on Friday night.
He met with Duterte to thank him for his decision to bury his father at the heroes’ cemetery, a controversial choice that had enraged citizens, especially martial law victims, human rights advocates and those who experienced the horrors of the Marcos dictatorship.
“I think it will bring closure not only to my family but to the rest of the country,” Marcos said in a press briefing in Quezon City.
“This is something that has been somehow in the consciousness of the Filipino people. This continuing partisan exchange that has been going on for over 30 years can finally be put to rest,” he said.
Asked if Sept. 11, the late dictator’s birthday, would be considered as the date of burial, Marcos said that would be a matter for his family to decide, particularly his mother, Imelda Marcos.
For revered war heroes, soldiers Duterte earlier said he would allow the late ruler’s burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani not because he was a hero, but because he used to be a soldier.
Selda, one of the initiators of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang, a movement launched to thwart the vice presidential bid of Senator Marcos, and Karapatan chair Marie Hilao-Enriquez have called on Duterte to “be more circumspect” on the issue of Marcos Sr.’s burial.
“Rather than giving closure, it will simply underscore the fact that martial law is an unfinished business and the victims are still deprived of justice,” said Bonifacio Ilagan, vice chair of Selda, an organization of former political detainees.
“The Marcos family has not even apologized to the Filipino people for the plunder of the nation’s coffers in more than 20 years that they were in power. There is no remorse,” Enriquez said in a statement.
‘Clear Marcos’ name’
“Burying Marcos Sr. at Libingan ng mga Bayani is what the Marcos family wants the most for it will pave the way to clear Marcos’ name of the numerous human rights violations he committed during martial law,” she said.
The Marcos family was toppled from power in a mass uprising in 1986 known as the Edsa People Power Revolution.
The revolt happened after 20 years of Marcos’ rule, many of them under martial law when human rights abuses took place.
The Philippine government has recognized these abuses and Congress had passed a law allowing martial law victims to receive compensation for the wrongs done to them, with the funds coming from the recovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.
The late dictator died in exile in 1989, and his family was allowed to return to the country in 1991.
They have since made a political comeback. On May 9, Imelda Marcos was reelected Ilocos Norte representative and daughter Imee, Ilocos Norte governor. TVJ
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