MANILA — If they get elected next year, presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman and his running mate Walden Bello said they will reverse President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which happened five years ago on Thursday.
“Oo, ire-reverse namin ang desisyon ni Duterte at ibabalik namin ang labi ng diktador sa Batac. And we will charge the Marcos family for expenses involved sa exhumation,” Bello told ABS-CBN News.
(Yes, we will reverse Duterte's decision, and we will return the remains of the dictator to Batac. And we will charge the Marcos family for expenses involved in the exhumation.)
In a statement, De Guzman said that if elected, they will issue a declaration that Marcos is not a hero.
"Para bawiin ang kamaliang ginawa ni Duterte na ilibing si Marcos sa LNMB, maglalabas ng opisyal na deklarasyon ang gobyerno na si Marcos ay hindi bayani kundi isang pasistang diktador at mandarambong," he said.
(To fix Duterte's mistake in allowing the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the government will issue an official declaration that Marcos is not a hero but a fascist dictator and a plunderer.)
"Sinumang magtatangkang burahin ang aral ng kasaysayan ay hindi karapat-dapat na maging pangulo ng bansa,” he added.
(Anyone who tries to erase the lessons of history is not eligible to be president of the country.)
After Duterte allowed the burial of the former president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani just months since assuming power, the Marcos family promptly took action to fulfill what they said was the late dictator's last wish.
The Supreme Court on Nov. 8, 2016, rejected a petition by human rights victims to stop the transfer of Marcos' remains to the same resting place of former presidents, national artists, and heroes of war.
The Marcos family has embarked on a political revival while thousands who suffered under their patriarch's two-decade-long rule still cry for justice.
De Guzman, whose possible opponents for the presidency next year include former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. and Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, the longtime aide of Duterte, blasted what he said was the latter's reason for his decision.
“Ang kanyang gawa-gawang dahilan ay upang magkaroon ng "nationwide healing". Subalit imposible ang paghihilom ng sugat kung kakalimutan ang mga pagkakasala. Maaring magpatawad ngunit hindi dapat makalimot. Never again,” he said.
(Duterte's reason was for the country to have nationwide healing. But it is impossible to heal wound if what caused it is forgotten. You can forgive, but you must not forget. Never again.)
The Marcos administration is not the country's “golden age” but rather “years of nightmare” for the Filipino people, said Bello.
“Dapat idiin sa konsensiya ng mamamayan na hindi bayani si Marcos at marami napaslang, natorture, na-rape, and napreso noong 14 taon na diktador siya,” he said.
(It must be inculcated in the people's consciousness that Marcos is not a hero, and many were killed, tortured, raped, and imprisoned during his 14 years as a dictator.)
The Marcos family has either dismissed or downplayed the allegations of abuses and corruption against them.
The country marked the 35th anniversary of Marcos' ouster this year, with thousands of victims still awaiting reparation.
The Marcoses allegedly plundered $10 billion from state coffers during their reign and only $4 billion in cash and assets have been recovered by an anti-graft body formed by his successor, the late president Corazon Aquino.
Marcos Jr. is seeking the presidency in the 2022 polls in tandem with Duterte's daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, even though both are running under different political parties.
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