Hero's burial for Marcos? What Philippine leaders have to say
An undated photo of the Marcos family during the presidency of dictator Ferdinand Marcos from government archives.
Hero's burial for Marcos? What Philippine leaders have to say
Mikas Matsuzawa (Philstar.com) - August 9, 2016 - 4:27pm
MANILA, Philippines — To have former President Ferdinand Marcos buried at the heroes' cemetery was a promise of President Rodrigo Duterte even during the campaign period.
At that time, he said that the issue is dividing the country and called on the public to unite and move on. He argued that the burial is a recognition of Marcos' service as a soldier and not a hero's burial.
But he also said he would consult with martial law victims first before pursuing this plan.
Two days ago, however, Duterte said he already allowed the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on September 18. He cited two reasons behind his decision: Marcos was a president and a soldier.
Many, including the president's allies, reacted negatively saying the Marcos regime was marked by extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and plunder, among others. They added that it would send the wrong message that you could commit human rights violations and still get a hero's burial.
Here are some reactions:

Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon 

We hope President Duterte, while he still has time, might reconsider his decision... There’s also a universal concern among the human rights victims about the message we will be sending to the current and future generations that it’s all right to violate human rights and you will be given hero’s burial.

National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno

Marcos claimed he received the Distinguished Service Cross, Server’s Star and Order of the Purple Heart, but all of these are not true.

Vice President Leni Robredo

How can we allow a hero’s burial for a man who has plundered our country and was responsible for the death and disappearance of many Filipinos? Those who have greatly committed crimes and moral turpitude to the Filipino people cannot be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III 

If I were president I would not allow it. I don't consider him a hero... Actually the party (PDP-Laban) does not consider Marcos a hero, but we will respect the decision of our partymate.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano

I see the point ni presidente na kung completely legal issue he's entitled to it. Pero yung pangalan kasi ng libingan ay Libingan ng Bayani. He had heroic moments during his life but we do not consider in totality heroic because of the things that happened to martial law. Unless palitan natin ang pangalan sa Libingan ng Bayani at Diktador.

Sen. Leila de Lima

Those concerned can always take some legal steps. The first thing that crossed my mind is some sort of an injunctive class suit of the families of the victims of abuses of martial law. If at all, it will be a novel case, a case of first impression.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan

Burying a murderer and a thief in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is not moving on, it is teaching our children to honor murderers and plunderers.

Bishops, activist

Bishops and an activist group also gave their reactions.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes

The majority of Filipinos will never cease their opposition to the burial. More shame will befall the Marcos family.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo

Ferdinand Marcos is no hero. We should not forget his abuses of power.

Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes

Government should not use a single centavo of taxpayers’ money or any government resources for that matter, to honor one who plundered the nation’s coffers and violated human rights with impunity. Whatever the motives of Duterte in allowing the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it is certain that the Marcos family will use the occasion to whitewash the bloody record of the dictator and hail him as a hero.

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