At Large

Who refuses to move on?

/ 12:40 AM November 11, 2016

Indeed, when it rains, it pours.

Still reeling from the Supreme Court majority decision dismissing petitions to stop the government from burying Ferdinand Marcos’ remains in the national cemetery for heroes, we woke up to more disturbing news: that The Donald was leading in the US presidential race.


As the day wore on, the news of Trump’s victory in the Electoral College, despite Hillary Clinton’s narrow lead in the popular vote (truly a testament to America’s weird electoral set-up), was confirmed. I crawled into bed early evening, tuning out the TV and FB news. I woke up late at night with these realizations: first, that America is not my country even if I care a lot about the outcome of its polls; and second, that I and my family and the Filipino people have survived martial law (or, as an FB post put it, Reagan and Marcos together), Ninoy Aquino’s assassination, the Edsa Revolt, coup attempts, and now the Duterte presidency. We survived all these and we would survive much more—although, I pray, we would be spared any more nasty surprises.

But, and I am sure I share the sentiment with many others, I am heartsick and crushed. I feel, by turns, betrayed and belittled, embittered and despairing. I think of loved ones living in the United States, their vulnerable status threatened by anti-immigrant rhetoric. I think of the thousands felled by EJKs, and the legacy left to their grieving families. I think of those who were tortured and killed during martial law, and all those who continue to be persecuted—who must feel even more the sting of the Supreme Court 9’s legalistic, cowardly reading of the law.


Still, we pick up the pieces of our shattered morale and soldier on.

This must be said. Marcos siblings Imee and Bongbong have issued—what they must think are—magnanimous calls for the public to “move on,” forget our political differences, and accept the high court’s ruling.

Others blame P-Noy and his predecessors for not working for a law that would have amended the guidelines for burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani and thereby made a Marcos interment there illegal.

But can you imagine the political fallout that would have resulted if Cory or Noynoy, or any of the presidents in between, had initiated such a move? Indeed, the agreement that Fidel V. Ramos forged with the Marcoses regarding their return was thought a reasonable compromise. Even if Imelda and kin refused to inter Marcos’ remains and let him “lie” aboveground, nobody forced the issue because, well, maybe they thought it was better to let sleeping dogs (or waxen mummies) lie. It is in fact the Marcoses (and their supporters like Du30) who refuse to move on, and, through the Supreme Court 9, are waging war on history and the nation’s legacy.

Men and women of goodwill, and not just Catholics or Christians, are invited to take part in the events marking the launch of “Aid to the Church in Need” (ACN) Philippines, starting tomorrow up to Nov. 15.

ACN is a pontifical (that is, under the direct sponsorship of the Pope) Foundation that “helps persecuted Christians around the world through the three pillars of: prayer, information, action.” The country joins 22 other national fundraising offices worldwide, with its international headquarters in Konigstein im Taunus, Germany.

The launch opens with a “National Conference on Persecuted Christians” tomorrow, 2-5 p.m., at the San Pedro Poveda College Auditorium on Edsa. On Nov. 14, there will be a press conference at the CBCP with panelists Baron Johannes Heereman von Zuydtwyck, ACN International executive president; Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, president of ACN Philippines; Fr. Martin Barta, ACN International ecclesiastical assistant; Antoine Chbeir, Maronite Bishop of Lattaquia; Bishop Montfort Stima of Mangochi, Malawi; Maki al Jalhoum, lay volunteer from Homs, Syria; and Johannes Klausa, ACN Korea director.


There will also be a Mass at the Manila Cathedral, and an interfaith service to launch the “Religious Freedom Report” at the CBCP led by ACN officials and Bishop Angelito Lampon, OMI, of Jolo.

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TAGS: Aid to the Church in Need, Donald Trump, Ferdinand Marcos, Hillary Clinton, Marcos burial, martial law, Supreme Court
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