The burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is an insult to the spirit of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said Wednesday.
The CBCP issued the strongly worded statement after the Supreme Court, voting 9-5, ruled on Tuesday that Marcos can finally be buried at the heroes' cemetery.
"We are very sad. The burial is an insult to the EDSA spirit. It mocks our fight to restore democracy," CBCP president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.
Marcos died on September 28, 1989 in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was exiled, after being ousted via the 1986 People Power Revolution at the age of 72.
Jaime Cardinal Sin, the late archbishop of Manila, was one of the first to rally Filipinos to go to EDSA by delivering a message over Church-owned Radio Varitas.
Villegas said they are "puzzled, hurt, and in great grief" over the Supreme Court decision.
"We see this as another step to build the culture of impunity in the country. Marcos is no hero! He should not be presented as one," he said.
During the Martial Law era, Villegas said Marcos made many people suffer using torture and death, and deprived poor people of their basic needs while making his cronies rich.
"We do not forget this! We will not allow that this be forgotten by the future generations in order that the same strong-hand oppression may not happen again," he said.
Marcos' daughter and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos earlier called for peace and forgiveness, saying Filipinos should learn to "move on."
Villegas, however, said "peace can only come if there is justice" and that the Marcoses and their cronies have not owned up to their wrongdoings.
"Justice demands recognition of the harm done to the people and restitution to the victims. We as Church work for peace and unity that is based on truth and justice for all, especially for the poor and the victims," he said.