'Hero's burial for Marcos betrays struggle vs martial law'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2016 10:20 PM

MANILA - Former human rights commissioner Loretta Ann Rosales believes burying former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a betrayal of the Filipino's struggle against "martial rule and repression."

In a statement released Sunday, Rosales said the fact that the government has mandated the reparation of martial law government means that it recognizes the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime.

"Is it not the height of irony then that the road to peace and reconciliation should start with giving Ferdinand Marcos, the oppressor of martial law martyrs, recognition as a hero by allowing to have him buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani?" Rosales said.

She added that the planned hero's burial is like giving in to the "pressures of the Marcos family to revise history under martial rule."

"This is not just catering to the 'whims' of Imelda, as suggested by Prof. [Joma] Sison. This is in fact buckling down to the pressures of the Marcos family to revise history under martial rule - a history of heinous crimes, of plunder and massive corruption where $618 million that had grown from the Swiss dummy foundations of Marcos had been ruled as ill-gotten by the Supreme Court of the Philippines more than a decade ago in 2004," Rosales added.

For Rosales, being a soldier is not enough for Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, as there are plenty of soldiers who served the country without killing and stealing from the people.

"There are plenty of soldiers who have fought for honor, for honesty, for love of country. They did not murder people and did not steal from the coffers of the nation. Many of them died in battle to defend the integrity of our country. They were courageous and brave. Our fathers are among them," she said.

She added the road to peace between the Communists and the government must be anchored on truth, compassion and justice.

"While the entire Filipino nation fully supports the road to peace between the Communists and the Philippine Republic, this road must be anchored on a healing process of truth, compassion and justice. Making Marcos a hero by burying him in Libingan ng mga Bayani despite a history of thievery and corruption is a betrayal of the Filipino people's historical struggle against martial rule and repression," Rosales said.

"It smacks more like a sell-out, a cop-out and to what ends? Who is to benefit by this arrangement that is now being explored by a few individuals at the top of the ladder?" she added.

Rosales called on human rights advocates to continue fighting for truth and freedom.

"Let it not be said that we have stopped the struggle for justice, for freedom, for truth and human rights. It must continue. And for those who oppose this struggle, our fight has just begun."

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte earlier said Marcos deserves to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, adding that this issue has long divided the country and it must be put to rest.

RELATED : Joma Sison: Marcos burial won't upset peace talks with Duterte gov't