MANILA - The National Historical Commission of the Philippines wants to set the record straight about facts surrounding the war medals and military service of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Ina letter to President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, NHCP Chair Maria Serena Diokno asked the president to reconsider the decision to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.
"Our appeal is based not on a narrow and short-sighted reading of the law but on historical grounds," Diokno said in the letter.
According to NCHP, Marcos lied several times about his involvement in the military.
In its letter, the NHCP said: "[T]he Commission has studied Mr. Marcos' war record and found that:
"1. Mr. Marcos' claims about his war medals from the U.S. are highly questionable. There is strong reason to doubt that he ever received them, let alone foxhole during the war, as Mr. Marcos claimed in one of his authorized biographies.
"2. Mr. Marcos lied about his rank.
"3. His guerrilla unit, Ang Maharlika, was never recognized by the U.S. government.
"4. His leadership of the unit was also doubted at official levels and his practice of listing his name on different guerrilla rosters was called a 'malicious criminal act.'
"5. Other acts of Mr. Marcos were officially called into question:
- His command over the Alias Intelligence Unit (described as 'usurpation');
- His commission of officers (without authority);
- His abandonment of USAFIP-NL ostensibly to build an airfield for Gen. Manuel Roxas;
- His 'illegal collection' of money for the airfield."
Diokno added that the Marcos regime's massive and grave violations of human rights were laid out in Republic Act No. 10368.
The NHCP chief also downplayed Marcos supporters' call for healing saying that the wounds of the past must not be ignored.
"If healing is the aim, the wounds of the past are best dealt with by coming to terms with them fairly and squarely, not by denying them, deflating their effect, or ignoring them altogether," Diokno said.
Diokno reminded Duterte that as president, he has the obligation to lead the way to true healing.
"As President of our Republic, you have the unique opportunity and obligation to heed the demands of the justice of History, and thereby lead the way to true healing."