COTABATO CITY: An umbrella group of Muslim organizations on Saturday issued their unified reaction to the controversy and mass actions launched by anti-Marcos groups protesting the burial of the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
The 1-Bangsa, a Moro civil society organization (CSO), called on all Muslim Filipinos to unite and support the stand of President Rodrigo Duterte who refused to back down on his decision on the late president’s burial insisting that he was only following the rule of law.
Alan Balangi-Amer, 1-Bangsa national president, told The Manila Times that the Muslim Filipinos in particular have been very silent and did not join the bandwagon calling for protests again the late strongman’s burial in the hero’s cemetery.
Balangi-Amer said the Muslim Filipinos did not also show at the burial of the late dictator despite the fact that Muslims have suffered most under Martial Law which was declared on September 21, 1972.
“There was widespread suffering among the Muslims and it took us many years to move on with the effect of Martial Law. Many of our relatives have disappeared and until now their bodies have not been recovered. We consider them now as among the statistics of atrocities that Marcos’ regime brought about,” Balangi-Amer said.
He added that for them the Marcos burial is a non-issue since in Islam the remains should be buried within 24 hours from death.
He noted that after the allowable number of days of vigil, the remains of Marcos should have been buried during the regime of the late Pres. Cory Aquino.
Another reason for their silence, he said, is “we don’t want to poke our fingers on the issue and be used by some sectors for their self-vested interest to unseat Duterte from power whom Mindanaoans are proud of being the first president to have come from Mindanao.”
He added another reason is that Muslims can wage their own fight against any president who tries to betray their trust and mandate.
Balangi-Amer accused former Pres. Benigno Aquino 3rd of having betrayed the trust of the Muslim Filipinos when he did not support the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that was the basis of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.