The youth take up the struggle
The burial of Ferdinand Marcos on Nov. 18 in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) was hurriedly and secretively carried out, with military-style logistical support. A military helicopter brought the remains from Ilocos Norte, where a wax replica of the dictator’s body was displayed in the Marcos Museum, to the LNMB. The Marines and the police were mobilized to encircle the perimeter of the cemetery. They were put on red alert.
The enabler was President Duterte. It was, all along, a state-sponsored burial. Mr. Duterte ordered it, the Supreme Court authorized it. The burial was accompanied with a 21-gun salute and the pompous ceremony that accompanies an official burial.
Did they actually think they could get away with it? Thousands, predominantly youth and university students, spontaneously walked out of their classrooms and immediately took to the streets to protest the burial, sending the President a clear message that this is a miscalculation he will be made to regret.
A new generation took to the streets demonstrating that it would be the guardians of a history that was also proudly made by the generation of the First Quarter Storm—the student radicalization that was the basis of an organized mass movement that led to the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship. The young protesters chanted the slogans of the martial-law generation: “Makibaka, Huwag Matakot!” and “Marcos, Hitler, Diktador, Tuta!” They sang “Bayan Ko.” Most of them do not belong to any radical organization. They are students of history. A history that cannot be covered up. A product of the continuing organization and education of the martial-law generation.
Significantly, the young people also sense history in the making—the climate of fear leading to martial law, of more repression and another dictatorship. A new generation has signaled that it will not stand by and watch this happen. They have sent a warning to the Duterte administration. They have now taken up the cudgels.
With the authority of these mass rallies they have declared that the protests will continue. They have put forward some demands, chanting “Hukayin!” They want the remains dug up and buried where these belong: in the dustbin of history.
The Partido Lakas ng Masa will accompany the youth in this struggle and in the coming struggles under an administration that refuses to learn the lessons of history.
SONNY MELENCIO, chair, Partido Lakas ng Masa, [email protected]
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