MANILA - The National Democratic Front (NDF) said the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani in Taguig "will not be a deal breaker" in peace talks with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's government.
NDF peace panel member Fidel Agcaoili and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder and NDF senior consultant Jose Ma Sison said the cemetery was established by Americans as burial ground for soldiers who die in their former colony.
Sison also pointed out that many military officials interred in the Libingan are not heroes and that some faced charges of human rights violations or corruption.
"Kung idadagdag ang pangalan sa Bantayog ng mga Bayani ililibing, problema yan dahil doon talaga mga tunay na bayani," Agcaoili said. (If you add his name to the Monument of Heroes, that will be a problem because the people there are real heroes).
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani at the corner of EDSA and Quezon Blvd. in Quezon City was built after the EDSA People Power Revolution to honor Filipinos who fought against the dictatorship.
Sison, however, said groups that continue to campaign to wrest justice from the heirs of the dictator should sustain their efforts.
Many leftist groups campaigned against the dictator's son, Sen. Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr., during the last elections. Liberal Party candidate Leni Robredo has been declared Vice President-elect, narrowly beating Marcos Jr..
These groups have also openly opposed the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
On Monday, incoming Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said she disagrees with Duterte's decision to allow a hero's burial for Marcos but this does not mean she can't work with him.
READ: Incoming DSWD chief nixes hero's burial for Marcos
Taguiwalo, a human rights victim during martial law, is one of 2 nominees of the NDF in the Duterte Cabinet.