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Open letter to Marcos family

/ 12:26 AM August 13, 2016

This letter comes as a plea for you to recall your request to have your beloved Ferdinand Marcos buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, to avoid further divisiveness in this country and make it easier for President Duterte to do what he desires, which is to bring significant change in all sectors.

Although we have been at odds on many issues in the sociopolitical world, at last we have found a common ground: to support our President’s goals and dreams for the country. It is his great desire to unite all sectors of society so that our country can move on toward greater peace and prosperity for all.

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In his intention to eradicate divisiveness, the President has graciously given in to your call to bury the head of your family in the Libingan, believing that no matter the alleged crimes he committed against the people, he was still a soldier and a duly elected president.

But there are a multitude of reactions that will surely emphasize the divisiveness, and one of the mildest comes from Mel Sta. Maria. In his online article, he quotes nothing less than a law, Republic Act No. 10368, which states: “… [I]t is hereby declared the policy of the State to recognize the heroism and sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights violations committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos covering the period from Sept. 21, 1972 to Feb. 25, 1986 and restore the victims’ honor and dignity. The State hereby acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to recognize and/or provide reparation to said victims and/or their families for the deaths, injuries, sufferings, deprivations and damages they suffered under the Marcos regime.

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“Similarly, it is the obligation of the State to acknowledge the sufferings and damages inflicted upon persons whose properties or businesses were forcibly taken over, sequestered or used, or those whose professions were damaged and/or impaired, or those whose freedom of movement was restricted, and/or such other victims of the violations of the Bill of Rights.”

This law is unknown to many young Filipinos, as seen in the number of votes that Bongbong Marcos received in the vice presidential election. For you to proceed to bury the late president in the Libingan will not only reopen old wounds but also create a greater divisiveness which the President really wants to wipe out. This will only serve to distract his attention from his “war” on drugs, criminality and corruption in our clearly drug-ridden nation. Why bring back to life the dead past and disturb our new President from his focus on more important matters?

I believe that your family is now in a position to help the President bring forth his dream to expunge the divisiveness that he perceives to be standing in the way of a progressive, peaceful and prosperous country, by taking back your appeal to have your beloved Ferdinand Marcos buried in the Libingan. Please consider leaving his remains where they are now; it is, after all, his place of birth where many consider him a hero and even revere him as a saint.

Imagine a scenario where he is buried today in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and then six years later he is exhumed and brought back to Batac, Ilocos Norte. I do not believe that this would please you in any way, so for the sake of unity and peace, please consider this letter favorably.

—CONDE DE MAKATI aka George Sison, former political detainee

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TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos, Libingan ng mga Bayani, marcos family, martial law
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