MANILA - Want closure? Do it with dignity.
This was the reaction of former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair and martial law victim Etta Rosales to the surprise burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in the heroes' cemetery.
Speaking to ANC, Rosales said the surprise burial shows how the Marcos family is imposing its will on the people in an attempt to revise history and paint the late dictator as a hero.
"It will not heal the nation but inflame the hatred and the anger that is being felt by the people," she said.
Rosales, who suffered torture at the hands of law enforcers during the martial law regime, said the burial violates due process since anti-Marcos petitioners still had time to question the Supreme Court majority ruling allowing the interment.
She said the Marcos family's attempts to seek closure should be based on "what is evident, truthful and just."
She said Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. should recognize that their father committed atrocities and human rights violations as revealed by the accounts of martial law victims.
She pointed out that one law - Republic Act 10368 - provides P10 billion in compensation to thousands of human rights victims during martial law.
"Closure is the coming together of the different sectors of society. I've always said Imee and Bongbong, if they want closure, they should do it with dignity. Do it with seriousness...," she said.
Rosales also said millennials are now learning about the deceptiveness of the Marcos family as shown by the hasty burial of the late dictator in the heroes' cemetery.
"We now have young people, young students recognizing the deceptiveness of the Marcos family...The young people are realizing that the right to truth and the right to history must be fought for," she said.
The former president was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani Friday, still a controversial move three decades after he was ousted in a "People Power" revolution.
The ceremony began with a 21-gun salute as soldiers in parade dress and ceremonial rifles stood to attention at the "Cemetery of Heroes" in Manila, after his body was secretly flown to the venue in an apparent effort to avoid protests.
The Supreme Court said last week that Marcos, who ruled the nation for two decades until millions of people took to the streets in the 1986 military-backed uprising, could be buried at the heroes' cemetery.
The decision, endorsing a recommendation from controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, outraged many opponents of the Marcos regime who said it would whitewash the dictator's many crimes.
The surprise move by the Marcos family and the government to bury him so quickly after the Supreme Court verdict, with appeals still to be heard, caused further outrage. With Agence France Presse