Bantayog list more legitimate mark of heroism: martial law heroes' kin

Kat Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2016 01:01 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2016 01:33 PM

What makes a hero? For some, the names etched in gold on the Bantayog ng mga Bayani's Wall of Remembrance are a more accurate list of "real heroes" than those buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Ruth Zumel, wife of journalist-activist Antonio Zumel, said some of the people buried in the heroes' cemetery are not heroes. 
 
"Meron namang mga nakalibing dun na bayani na lumaban noong panahon ng Hapon. Pero meron namang mga nakalibing diyan na hindi naman talagang bayani," she said at the sidelines of the annual honoring of Martial Law heroes at the Bantayog.

Steve Salonga, son of the late Senate President Jovito Salonga, added: "As far as we're concerned, all the heroes are here." 

"If you go through each name here and the story that brought them to this wall, you will understand that the real heroes of Martial Law are here," he added.

All the personalities etched on the Wall of Remembrance underwent a rigorous vetting process that involved a background check, a review of their contributions in the struggle against Martial Law, and a deliberation among several screening committee members, Bantayog officials said.

LOOK: 19 new names on Bantayog's Wall of Remembrance


Though the honoring of Martial Law heroes is annually done here, officials and other guests who attended this year's commemoration admitted that more must be done to remind the public that the names on the black-marble walls are more than just gold scribblings.

Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who attended the event said due credit must be given to the names on the walls.

"I personally know some of the names there. I have worked with some of them. I knew their struggles and they deserve the recognition," Taguiwalo told ABS-CBN News.

Liberal Party president Senator Francis Pangilinan said everybody can celebrate and honor the "real heroes" of Martial Law by reading about their sacrifices, participating in social media discussions, and joining demonstrations against the burial of the dictator who was the cause of the heroes' death and struggles.

"Dapat tuloy-tuloy nating kinikilala at pinaparangalan itong mga nagsakripisyo, nagbuwis ng buhay, mga pinatay, maga nanindigan noong panahon ng diktadurya dahil sila ang mga tunay na bayani," Pangilinan said.

"Siguro sa ating pagninilay at pagkilala sa naging sakripisyo ni Ka Andres Bonifacio e maliliwanagan tayo kung sino ba ang mga totoong bayani at sino yung mga huwad na bayani."