Disrespectful of whole nation as well
We, the members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors (AMRSP) in the Philippines, decry the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Developments on this issue have come to pass, albeit in ways that we neither expected nor desired.
On Nov. 8, 2016, the Supreme Court en banc, voting 9-5, dismissed the consolidated petitions arguing that a hero’s burial for Ferdinand Marcos would be a “grave injustice” to the victims of martial law, thus allowing the burial. The ruling stated that President Duterte was within his powers under the Constitution and the Administrative Code when he ordered the burial.
On Nov. 18, 2016, the remains of Marcos, flown via helicopter, were buried in the Libingan in clandestine rites, surprising most Filipinos who were still reeling from the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the lawfulness of the burial which was done so suddenly.
We share the sentiments of many people who are now sad, disappointed, or angry on account of these turn of events.
The burial of Marcos in the Libingan is linked to the Duterte presidency. President Duterte promised a hero’s burial for Marcos during his campaign, and it was he who orchestrated the burial from the backstage. The Marcoses would not have come this far without his support.
We reiterate our stand that Marcos is not a hero. Even if he used to be a soldier and president, he was a dictator and was responsible for the human rights violations and atrocities committed during martial law. He plundered the nation’s wealth, consequently impoverishing its people: P170 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth was recovered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government from 1986-2015. To the end, Marcos has shown no remorse for his actions.
We deplore the manner and circumstances in which he was buried in the Libingan: The burial is a grave disrespect not only to the victims of human rights abuses under his regime, but to the whole nation as well.
We stand in solidarity with the victims of martial law. The AMRSP has data, documented through the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, which prove that Marcos is not a hero.
We resolve to continue correcting misconceptions about the heroism of Marcos. Our consistent opposition to a revisionist history we bring through our works—in our schools and colleges, parishes, social ministries and centers, and other ministries that seek to form the conscience of the citizenry.
We commend the outpouring of the people’s cry for truth and justice: Many have come forward to express disappointment over the burial of Marcos in the Libingan. We are heartened to see students and young people leading the clamor for truth and justice. There is indeed hope that our young will bring the advocacy to the public arena.
FR. CIELITO ALMAZAN, OFM, SR. REGINA KUIZON, RGS, FR. EDUARDO APUNGAN, CMF, SR. JULIE SAGUIBO, SFIC,FR. ANTHONY PAUL BICOMONG, SDB, SR. NICETA VARGAS, OSA, BR JOSE MARI JIMENEZ, FSC, SR. MARIFE LESLIE LUNA, LGC, FR. JOSEPH, MATITU, SSS, SR. SOFIA TAGUINOD, OP, FR. COPERNICUS PEREZ JR., CSSR, SR. JOSEPHINE MATA, FAS, F. ANTONIO MORENO, SJ, FR. RICARDO BASQUIÑES, MF, Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines
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