MANILA - Senator Grace Poe on Thursday said the law recognizing human rights victims during the regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos is in conflict with the military's guidelines on the burial of a soldier or a former president in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"We have Republic Act 10368, recognizing the human rights victims during the time of Martial Law, and I think that it is a more current law than the law that was created, identifying that anybody who's a soldier, or anybody who became a president can be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," she said in an interview with ANC's Headstart.
Republic Act 10368, which provides reparation and recognition of victims of human rights violations during the administration of Marcos, was passed on 2013, and Poe believes it supersedes the Armed Forces' guidelines which President Rodrigo Duterte cited as his reason for allowing the late dictator's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"Just looking at that, this is a more recent law, so I think, I really believe that if we are to take this law seriously, having that burial there will be in conflict with that law," Poe added.
For Poe, the international community "will be scratching their heads" if the late strongman is indeed buried among the country's heroes.
"Even Rizal has a quote, something that said 'Anybody that contributed to the ruin of a nation, no matter what they did, can never really be considered as a liberator or a hero'," she said.
Poe, who lost the 2016 presidential elections to Duterte, said she would rather not fan the flames of divisiveness among Filipinos, especially because the tag "hero" can be subjective.
"I believe that there were a lot of violations and I don't want to fan the flames already of divisiveness in this country, but I think with the issue... Because you know, sometimes a hero can be very subjective," Poe said.
"He could be a hero to you because he provided you with the infrastructure that the country needed at that time, but again, sticking to the law [RA] 10368, I think it’s clearly in conflict with it," she added.