MANILA – Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday apologized for calling “temperamental brats” people opposed to the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Andanar said those opposing Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani have "such an awesome capacity for nurturing hate."
"They are temperamental brats refusing to concede to the outcome of regular processes," he wrote in his column.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte's ally and party mate, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, scored Andanar for his comments and told the latter to "review his history."
After drawing flak for his column, Andanar clarified that he only used the phrase “temperamental brats” to describe anti-Marcos groups to “express my frustration against those who seek to further divide the country for reasons that have nothing to do with genuine patriotism and civic duty.”
“I apologize for the offense this may have caused. It was never my intention to trivialize, diminish, or in any way denigrate the struggles of the survivors of Martial Law and of those who oppose former president Marcos. Neither did I intend it as an affront against the constitutionally guaranteed rights of our people,” he said.
“It is my hope that while our people have expressed various differing positions on the issue of the burial of former president Marcos, may we remain united in our desire for a safer, more peaceful country, providing opportunities for a better quality of life for our people. I also wish for the healing of this long-festering wound that has beset our country.”
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court junked seven consolidated petitions of Martial Law victims, and allowed the burial of the late dictator at the Heroes' Cemetery.
Human rights victims during the martial law regime have sought a temporary injunction against the decision to allow the burial.
Several protest actions have also been mounted by anti-Marcos groups.
Those opposing the burial say the the SC decision perpetuates impunity as it did not take into consideration the sins of the late dictator.
The Marcoses, meanwhile, asked the public to move on and forgive them for the “unintentional” wounds caused by the patriarch’s rule.
In its majority decision, the SC ruled that the late president possesses all the qualifications to be interred at the cemetery.
It ruled that Duterte’s decision was within the bounds of the Constitution and the Administrative Code. It also argued that the petitioners failed to demonstrate how the burial threatened their rights.
The majority also pointed out the procedural error of the petitioners when it ran to the SC instead of seeking relief from a lower court.