PH 'superheroes’ urge Duterte to scrap Marcos burial at Heroes’ Cemetery
MANILA, Philippines – 'Darna', 'Volta', 'Captain Barbel', and 'Lastikman' have joined forces for a common cause: to stop the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).
Wearing Filipino superhero costumes, Akbayan members staged a protest at the Liwasang Bonifacio on Saturday, July 23, denouncing President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to bury the late dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Showcasing the Filipino comic book heroes appeals to the imagination of the young and the millennials, according to the protesters.
“Ang superheroes, kahit alam natin na kahit fictional, ay tinitingala ng taongbayan at ng indibidwal na Pilipino. Si Marcos, ni sinong Pilipino, ay walang pagtingin na siya ay totoong hero,” explained Akbayan representative Tomasito Villarin.
(The superheroes, even if they are fictional, are admired by the Filipino people. Not a single Filipino considers Marcos a genuine hero.)
“Let them look at what heroes should be. If you look at Darna, Captain Barbell, and Prinsesa Urduja; all of them fought for what is right,” said former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Loretta “Etta” Rosales, who was a political detainee during martial law.
Duterte, a friend of the Marcoses, first promised to give the late dicator a hero’s burial last February while campaigning in Ilocos Norte.
“Alam natin na ang kasaysayan ay hindi pwedeng baguhin. Alam natin na ang kasaysayan ay pwedeng bumalik sa atin,” said Villarin. (We know that history should not be revised. We know that history can be repeated).”
Amnesty International (AI) has estimated that during martial law, 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed. The AI mission,which visited the Philippines from November to December 1975, found that 71 of the 107 prisoners interviewed alleged that they had been tortured.
“We call on the Duterte administration to scrap plans to allow the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," said Akbayan spokesperson Paeng David, adding that Duterte should "focus the energy of his administration towards the recovery of all ill-gotten wealth and the pursuit of justice from the Marcoses instead.” – With a report from Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com