Konsyensya Dabaw lauds the position of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to respect the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) concerning petitions on the burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
Respecting the SC decision, along with additional reforms related to other burning issues of the day such as the war on drugs, would strengthen rule of law in our country.
We are among those who are urging the SC to do right by the many victims of Martial Law, and the coming generations of Filipinos, by denying a ploy to whitewash Marcos’s bloody record in favor of the full return to power of the Marcoses and the forces that supported the dictatorship.
At the same time we caution against the oversimplification of the hero’s burial for Marcos into one of deciding on the basis of law versus “emotion”, and because the issue is alienating “almost the entire Ilocano people”.
The grisly details about those who suffered directly from human rights violations (at least 70,000 arrested, 34,000 tortured, 3,240 summarily executed, and 1,000 disappeared); the massive amount of money that the Marcoses amassed illegally (estimated between US$5 to 10B); the foreign debt that the Marcos administration racked up and which all Filipinos will still be paying until 2025; and the economic and social consequences that cost us even after the Marcoses were ousted in 1986—these should not be dismissed as matters of emotion. They are about justice.
We consider it grossly unfair to our fellow Filipinos in Ilocos that their sense of empowerment and inclusion has been portrayed as hinging on a matter that will only uphold the interests of the Marcos family.
Many Ilocanos suffered from the effects of injustice and underdevelopment from the time of Marcos; and the Ilocano pride should not be reduced to and equated with the fortunes of the Marcoses.
We are saddened that the President has not yet made good on a campaign promise to meet with and consult Martial Law victims, but has already met a few times with Gov. Imee Marcos, whom he said had contributed to his campaign.
As for questions about Marcos’ heroism and war medals, they need not take generations to resolve. Similar to the steps that Pres. Duterte himself took to increase public awareness of the Bud Dajo massacre, the Duterte administration can build on previous measures towards the full healing of Philippine society, which has not yet fully dealt with its violent past.
We believe that the Filipino sense of solidarity and justice requires that Marcos be buried finally in Batac beside his mother, as he himself wished, and not at the LNMB.
KONSYENSYA DABAW (Hugpong Dabawenyo para LNMBatac)
Mags Z. Maglana