Anakbayan calls on the Filipino youth and people to strongly oppose the efforts of the Duterte government to bury the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Bicutan.
At least 70,000 people were illegally imprisoned, thousands more summarily executed, and millions victimized by various forms of human rights abuses while the Marcoses profited from billions stolen from public funds. Marcos is not a hero and unfit for a hero’s burial.
The Filipino youth and students particularly bore the brunt of the Marcos dictatorship’s repression and state violence from the shutting down of student councils, publications, and organizations up to the salvaging, kidnapping, and torture of many student leaders.
The Marcos regime brutally murdered Liliosa Hilao, Lorena Barros, Merardo Arce, Emman Lacaba, Antonio Tagamolila, Edgar Jopson, Abraham Sarmiento Jr., William Begg, and other young activists and fighters, the cream of the crop of their generation, who stood up against the dictatorship.
Marcos is a fascist dictator, a corrupt despot, and a puppet of US imperialism who deserve to be punished along with his cronies and other accomplices. But the Marcoses were instead rehabilitated by the political system, culminating in Bongbong Marcos almost winning the vice-presidency.
Burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is the culmination of such a restoration. This will only further historical amnesia about the abuses during Martial Law, which has been abetted by the failure of successive post-Marcos administrations to decisively punish the Marcoses.
This will also further legitimize the police and army’s continued adherence to “best practices” inherited from the Martial Law like the militarization and extrajudicial killings which are now mainly aimed at lowly drug suspects in the slums and alleged rebel supporters in the countryside.
Until now the Marcoses remain unrepentant for all the dictatorship’s crimes against the people. Giving him a hero’s burial gives the false impression that he was a hero. This is surely no different from giving accolades to a notorious crime boss.
Once more, we are reminding President Duterte not to use his office simply to give favors to those who supported his electoral campaign. The Marcos burial, in particular, should not be made just to repay political debts to his close friend Bongbong Marcos.
It does not matter if the Libingan ng mga Bayani was originally a cemetery for soldiers, one of Duterte’s justifications for burying Marcos there as a soldier. Giving Marcos a hero’s burial sends a wrong signal that crimes against humanity and plunder will be celebrated by the state.
Burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a grave injustice to all the victims of his dictatorship as well as the entire Filipino people. We will not allow this travesty of justice and distortion of history to pass by without our firm opposition.
Anakbayan National Chairperson