Sunday, November 20, 2016

#SalamatApo: When the #MarcosBurial Was Done Like a Thief in the Night

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"The Marcoses fast tracked the burial to stop protests from snowballing and to stop a national conversation that was dangerous to their interests." - Inday Espina-Varona

The surprising Supreme Court (SC) decision to give the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero's burial has triggered protests. It is a decision that has truly divided the nation. The SC said that it could not deny the former president his "rightful place" at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). SC Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin says “President Marcos—being… a two-term President of the Philippines, a Medal of Valor awardee, a veteran of World War II, a former Senator and Senate President, and a former Congressman, by any of which was qualified to have his remains be interred in the LNMB.”

"Considering that the subject decision is not yet final and to foreclose the projected motion/s for reconsideration from being rendered moot by a precipitate burial of the late President Marcosin the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, it is respectfully manifested and prayed that the Honorable Supreme Court may consider reissuing the status ante order."

But when we suddenly learned about the equally surprising and rushed, like a thief in the night, burial of his remains at the LNMB, we have to say that this country is beyond repair anymore. If we are talking about legalities, the SC decision was not yet final. There is still the Motion for Reconsideration (MR). So the Marcoses did defy the law in this case.

Petitioners against the burial of late dictator will file a motion to cite in contempt the Marcoses and the military for the "premature" interment of the late dictator, saying the SC's decision is not yet final. "They had hidden wealth, hidden human rights abuses and now a hidden burial - with complete disrespect for the rule of law."

"Like what Marcos did for 21 years, he caught us off-guard like a thief in the night. His burial is anything but noble. Even in death, he is a thief" says Senator Franklin Drilon. 

Bayan Muna partylist representative Carlos Zarate says the hasty burial was “A dastardly act characteristic of the Marcoses."

Meanwhile, Senator Kiko Pangilinan said "We kicked out a reviled dictator and now we are honoring him by burying him in our national heroes cemetery." He also said that the #MarcosBurial "was done with deception, like a thief in the night. We will work to undo this injustice in our country. This will be a short-lived victory for the Marcos family."

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III says "This can actually prolong the division in the country between Marcos and anti-Marcos forces." Of course, this being a political issue, let us not lose hope, because this can be reversed anytime.” 

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar says "Let them protest wherever they want. Just don’t disturb the motorists because we know that the traffic in Metro Manila is terrible." 

Movie actor Robin Padilla strongly supports President Rody Duterte's stand on the Marcos burial. The actor even says, Marcos is a hero. 

Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile says “One medal of honor is enough for you to be buried in that piece of land." 

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez says “The rule of law has triumphed over partisan emotions.”

The highly secretive funeral shocked many pro-democracy advocates and human rights victims unaware that funeral plans were already underway. It is alarming that the burial happened in haste. This incident is arguably a breach of the law. Anti-Marcos burial lawyer Atty. Barry Gutierrez said that the Marcos Burial was done with complete disrespect of our legal process. They should have not proceed with the burial while there is still a MR. They're considering filing a motion for contempt of court. 

The act is obviously a desperate move! Shame on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for being in cahoots with them. It was a Philippine Air Force (PAF) chopper that flew Marcos from Ilocos to LNMB. The PAF deployed its brand new choppers to transport the "brown wooden coffin" of the late president Marcos from Ilocos Norte straight to the Heroes' Cemetery for a private burial that surprised the nation. Have they no moral courage or respect for the system? 

The Philippines has undoubtedly become a dangerous place to live in where authorities can now easily and openly abduct and/or kill people, and/or bury the former enemy of the state without the Filipino people knowing about it. "Can you imagine? The military runs the Libingan, but it takes orders from the Marcoses." says Winnie Monsod.

9 justices voted in favor of burial, 5 justice dissented, and one inhibited himself. "If we were to truly care about justice, then we should be more concerned about the decision of the SC than the burial itself, for the burial is once and material, but the SC is embedded in the very fiber of our justice system, a system that will forever continue to make decisions that would affect our lives." - Chris Dela Cruz

Historian Manolo Quezon III said burying the late dictator before a weekend while President Rodrigo Duterte is out of the country, allows the incident to “essentially blow over.” Former Human Rights Commissioner Etta Rosales said that majority of the SC justices betrayed the EDSA Revolution, the 1987 Constitution, and the struggle of Filipinos by allowing the burial.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), an ally of the president, said Duterte givingMarcos a hero's burial will mean virtually spitting on the graves of thousands of martyrs who fought to end the Marcos dictatorship.

In a Malacanang Palace briefing, Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag said the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) wasn’t aware of the date of the burial. They said that "The Presidential Communications Office does not have any knowledge of that instruction. We don't have any knowledge about the burial." MalacaƱang also said that the president was not informed but AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla said "The President is always kept aware of everything that’s happening in the country." So who do we believe?

However, President Rodrigo Duterte defended the Marcos burial in LNMB saying "It is the law. I am not privy to the medals, I have not seen it. But he was a hero. He was a President, nobody can deny that." This statement is equally not surprising since we all know from the very start that he is allied to the Marcoses. "Let history judge but I will do what it is legal and the Supreme Court has ruled that it is." Duterte adds. When asked if he considers Ferdinand Marcos a hero, the President said "it depends on the beholder." He said the Ilocanos, for instance, believe Marcos did nothing wrong. “That part of the sins of Marcos has yet to be proven by a competent court.” The President is clearly motivated by debt of gratitude and payback in pushing for the Marcos burial.

Do you agree when the president said that the controversy over Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City is just a feud between the Marcos and Aquino families? “It’s basically a fight between the two families,” he said. “We just got involved.” "The President cannot simply reduce the issue to a clash of political clans, especially if he is aware of the injustices and crimes committed by the Marcos dictatorship."

Pro-Marcos supporters are grateful that their "apo" — an Ilokano term for leader —  is finally laid to rest. But the majority of the Filipino people, especially the ones of immediate relationship with the victims of Martial Law and other heinous crimes committed by the Marcos regime are in shock.

With very little media coverage of the surprise event, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos took to social media on the burial of her father. "Sa wakas napatupad sa araw na ito ang huling habilin ng aking minamahal na ama." she said. She posted a same day edit video of the burial of her father. In remarks after the burial rites, Imee said the Marcos family had to perform the burialunannounced so as not to offend or spark anger among those opposed to the LNMB interment for her father. 

"They say that the millennials are the ones who don't know about Martial Law. True, we millennials weren't even alive at the time. But when we read the historical accounts, we found out what many people went through to gain our freedom today" says Nicole Aliasas, a lone protester during the burial at LNMB. "I am mad because we allowed Marcos to be buried in this sacred ground intended for honorable men" she adds.

"Marcos was a thief, a murderer and a dictator. He is no hero" says Vice President Leni Robredo. Sadly, it is only in our country that a dictator in Marcos is considered for a national burial and his family are still able to engage in politics. Our forgiving culture is the main reason why we can't move forward. You cannot move forward until there is closure.

A lot of people gathered on November 18 at the EDSA People Power monument to protest the #MarcosBurial and encouraged motorists join their noise barrage. Victims of Martial law and their supporters expressed rage and called for accountability as they rally into the night. "Hukayin!" was the battle cry of protesters. I am sure that there will be plenty more protests and rallies that will happen soon.

Thousands of students from University of the Philippines (UP), Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) and Miriam College walk out of their classes to protest along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City the burial of the dictator at the LNMB.

They believe that "Only massive civil disobedience can stop dictatorship in its tracks. Only massive civil disobedience can allow us to 'move on' to a different, more democratic future."

For too long, this nation just keeps on moving on and keeps on tolerating its thieving leaders. Even Lee Kuan Yew has said that Filipinos are so forgiving to their own detriment. Marcos is only one of them and there are definitely more from all sides of the political camp. When are we ever going start to change this malady? Do you suggest that the Filipinos just tolerate and make excuses for wrongdoing?

“This is not about moving on. This is about doing what is right and honoring the real heroes. President Marcos does not deserve a place there. There is no justification for it.” SC Justice Antonio Carpio says "Marcos is the very antithesis of freedom and democracy."

Bongbong Marcos said they waited 27 years to fulfill his father's wish of "simple soldier's ceremony." But, if you really think about it, it was a perceived win that was actually a loss. What they really wanted was for Marcos to be buried with all the accolades that they needed him to get, in order to put the family name right (despite his original wish to be buried beside his mother in Ilocos). Now his unapologetic descendants have to live with the fact that they had to do it in secret!!! It is like being crowned Miss Universe by Steve Harvey.

"Now that Marcos has been buried, have we forgotten?" -----Ben Galil Te (University Student Councilor)

Marcos will always be a thief, yesterday, today and forever! Burying him in that place will never change what he is! We cannot do anything because of legal technicalities but being buried in LNMB will never redeem him and make him a hero! 

Vice President Leni Robredo says "It is our responsibility to teach our children the heroism and sacrifice of our forefathers. And Mr. Marcos is no hero."

“The fight to uphold the judgement of history must continue, wherever the dictator may be interred.”

*All photos taken from Imee Marcos Facebook page

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