A COALITION of human rights, civic and people’s organizations “of all shades of colors” is planning to troop to Rizal Park on Sunday to protest the hero’s burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and is also eyeing a class suit to block it.
“Marcos was no hero,” the Coalition Against Marcos Burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani said in a statement, arguing that the late dictator had lied about having a distinguished war record.
Susan Quimpo of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, a nonprofit that maintains a monument to victims of Marcos’ Martial Law regime in Quezon City, described President Duterte’s decision to allow the burial as a historical reversal.
“If you (President Duterte) really want (national) healing, stop the burial,” Quimpo said as she recounted how she lost her siblings during martial rule.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman raised the possibility of filing a case at the Supreme Court to obtain an injunction on the burial.
Another option is a class suit against the Executive Secretary, the Secretary of the Department of National Defense and the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Lagman said he was hoping popular opposition would change President Duterte’s mind.
He mentioned 12 “cardinal sins” of Marcos that make him unfit for a hero’s burial:
• declaration of Martial law to perpetuate himself in power;
• closure of Congress;
• stifling of dissent through the arrest of opposition and leftist leaders;
• emasculation of the judiciary;
• violation of people’s political, civil, economic and human rights;
• closure of media outlets, detention of journalists and suppression of press freedom;
• closure and takeover of private companies and public utilities;
• plunder of the economy and amassing of $30 billion in ill-gotten wealth;
• allowing cronies to enrich themselves;
• allowing the foreign debt to balloon to $28 billion in 1986 from $1 billion in 1965;
• gutting of the economy, resulting in “negative GDP growth”; and
• ouster as a tyrant by “people power,” with the Supreme Court barring his return.
Lagman also cited records from the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines from September to December 1972, showing at least 6,295 unwarranted arrests. The figure increased to 29,500 at the end of 1973 and to 92,607 by the end of the Marcos regime in 1986.
The Task Force also listed 5,531 cases of torture, 2,537 summary executions and 783 involuntary disappearances.
“Marcos’ having been a soldier and a former President is dwarfed, even nullified, by his 12 cardinals sins against the Filipino people. His day of reckoning is not at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Lagman said.
Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada 3rd has authored a bill mandating the teaching of Marcos’ “sins” in schools.
Tañada said President Duterte should not call the move to give Marcos a hero’s burial as “historical justice.”
“Does he think he does not do a historical injustice here? All the claims of (Martial Law) victims’ relatives will not mean a thing,” he said.
At the Senate, Sen. Risa Hontiveros proposed a resolution declaring Marcos as unfit for a hero’s burial.
Security was beefed up on Tuesday at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig amid threats of protest rallies from groups opposing the Marcos burial.
In Davao City, President Duterte stuck to his decision to allow the burial.
“Because he was a president, period. [The Libingan ng mga Bayani] is for presidents and soldiers. Go ahead, attack Marcos,” Duterte told reporters.