Left won't break away from Duterte over Marcos burial

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 12 2016 03:18 AM

MANILA - Left-leaning groups have led simultaneous protests in different parts of the metropolis to denounce the impending burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Yet, the country's progressive Left won't end it alliance with President Duterte, who has rejected calls to stop the burial.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago was evasive when asked how far the Makabayan Bloc would go in asking Duterte to reconsider his decision on the burial.

"Tingin natin sa ating pakikipag-alyado, tayo ay nakikipagkaisa sa mga dapat suportahan. Napakarami diyan,“ Elago said.

(In our alliance with the President, we particularly choose the ones we support. There are many things to support.)

“Unang-una, yung kaniyang pursuit sa just and lasting peace sa paggulong ng peace negotiation sa mga rebels. Sa ating mga revolutionaries andiyan din ang intensified na expansion ng social services ngunit kailangan natin pagbantayan itong pagtulak niya at pagpapayag sa plano niya na paglibing kay Marcos dahil hindi natin gusto na siya pa mismo ay maging sangkap sa pagrerebisa, pagiiba ng ating kasaysayan at maging instrumento pa para di makuha ang matagal nang hinahangad na hustisya ng ating bayan," she added.

(First would be his pursuit for a just and lasting process as peace negotiations with rebels continue. For our revolutionaries, there are expanded social services. However, we need to keep an eye on plans to give Marcos a hero’s burial. We do not want the president to be an instrument in revising history.)

Elago only said that the protests against the burial will continue to snowball.

"Asahan natin na ang ating Pangulo, kung hindi niya iaatras ang planong paglibing kay Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani ay magaani talaga ng malalaking protesta ang ating bayan. Malaking protesta," Elago said.

(Let’s expect protests once the president refuses to withdraw his endorsement of Marcos's Libingan ng mga Bayani burial. Big protests.)

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Friday said their “principled alliance with the Duterte administration is not predicated on one single issue or program alone.” 

He added that they have been vocal in protesting Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

"We held protest actions, filed resolutions in Congress and sued the Duterte administration to stop the Marcos hero’s burial. We will continue to oppose President Duterte and the Supreme Court ruling favoring the Marcoses. This, despite our alliance with his administration on other pro-people and patriotic policies and programs,” Zarate explained.

“We supported Pres. Duterte knowing fully well of his unprogressive pronouncements and programs, which we will continue to constructively engage with him," he added.

The country's progressive bloc has several seats in the Duterte administration—Secretary Judy Taguiwalo at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Secretary Rafael Mariano at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Secretary Liza Maza at the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and Undersecretary Joel Maglungsod at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE.)

The Makabayan bloc has authored House Resolution 197 asking the House of Representatives to strongly oppose burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In its resolution, the bloc spelled out its arguments against a hero's burial for Marcos, which included the atrocities and corruption during the 20-year dictatorship.

In the 15th Congress under President Benigno Aquino, around 200 congressmen supported a House Resolution authored by the late Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero, urging the Aquino Administration to allow the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. 

The measure remained pending at the Committee on Basic Education and Culture until the end of the 15th Congress.