MANILA – A hero's burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos contradicts President Rodrigo Duterte's war against the country's oligarchs.
So said Senator Risa Hontiveros, who filed a resolution Monday opposing the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani scheduled next month.
"President Duterte cannot end the run of oligarchs in the country by honoring the very man who created a crony oligarchy during Martial Law," Hontiveros said in a statement.
Duterte has been defiant in the face of mounting criticisms over his decision to allow a hero's burial for Marcos, who was accused of plundering the nation's coffers and committing human rights abuses.
Duterte recently launched tirades against the country's oligarchs, singling out Marcos-era trade minister Roberto Ongpin.
Hontiveros, a neophyte senator allied with the once powerful Liberal Party, said allowing Marcos to be buried at the cemetery will only cause further divisiveness and reopen old wounds, especially as the country is in the process of providing reparations to Martial Law victims.
Duterte has said Marcos deserves a hero's burial since he is a former president and a war veteran.
Duterte rejects criticism of hero’s burial for Marcos
But Hontiveros said the government seemed to have overlooked Marcos' offenses involving moral turpitude. Those convicted for moral turpitude should not be interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"In the case of Hilao v. Estate of Marcos, the jury found the estate of defendant Ferdinand Marco liable to 10,059 plaintiffs for the acts of torture, summary execution and disappearance,'' Hontiveros said.
''This conviction should suffice to disqualify Marcos from being buried at the heroes' cemetery."
Human rights groups and even allies of the president are calling on the tough-talking chief executive to reconsider his decision, even as the Marcos family has started preparations for the transfer of the family patriarch's remains from his hometown in Ilocos Norte.
LOOK: Marcos' solid bronze casket arrives at Batac, Ilocos Norte
Hontiveros said the Marcos family should just lay the remains of the patriarch in his hometown or some other place "that will not serve to distort history, assail democracy and insult all those who fought and died to end the dictatorship."