NHCP chair Diokno resigns over Marcos burial

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 29 2016 02:53 PM | Updated as of Nov 29 2016 07:00 PM

Maria Serena Diokno. Photo from NHCP website

MANILA - National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairperson Maria Sereno Diokno resigned from her post on Tuesday, lambasting the Duterte administration for "ignoring" history when it allowed the hero's burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

"At this moment in our history, every voice counts, and I wish to place mine on the side of History; not the history that the Duterte government ignores, but the History that beckons our people to demand justice that even the highest court of the land will not bestow," Diokno said in a statement.

"The burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is wrong; it denies our History, erases the memory of lives lost and destroyed, mocks the collective action we took to oust the dictator, and denigrates the value of our struggle for freedom."

Diokno added the the President "did not take the higher ground" when he adopted the "narrow view" of the nine Supreme Court magistrates who allowed the burial.

"Worse, he justifies his 'legalistic' action by claiming, falsely, that 'there's no study, no movie about it [Marcos as a leader],'" she said.

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Vowing that she will continue protecting the country's history "from those in and out of the government who attempt to deface it," Diokno said that she will join the massive protest against Marcos' burial on Friday.

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"The multitude of especially young Filipinos who have come out in defense of History and are prepared to co-author it for their generation and the future point to one realization: they, we all, will guard our History," she said.

"Never again will we allow any remnant of authoritarian past to take hold of our country," ended her statement.

Duterte called for the burial, 27 years after Marcos's death, arguing that as a former military man and head of state, the former dictator met the criteria for a place in the heroes' cemetery.

Diokno, however, earlier claimed that the deposed tyrant lied about his military service.

5 things Ferdinand Marcos lied about, according to NHCP

Diokno is one of the daughters of the late Senator Jose Diokno, one of the opposition leaders detained during martial law. He joined the fight against the Marcos dictatorship and put up a legal aid group to assist political detainees and other human rights victims.

Marcos ruled the Philippines for 20 years, imposing martial law in 1972 and governing by decree in what was one of the darkest chapters of the country's history.
Tens of thousands of suspected communist rebels and political foes were killed before Marcos's 1986 ouster in a "people's power" revolt. He died in exile in Hawaii three years later.

In 1986, a commission was created to recover the Marcos family's wealth, which was estimated at $10 billion worth of property, cash, stocks, jewelry and pieces of art. It has, so far, recovered about half. -- With a report from Reuters