Filipinos in Chicago hold protest vs hero’s burial for Marcos
CHICAGO, USA – Despite being thousands of miles away from the Philippines, some Filipinos staged a protest in Chicago on Wednesday, September 7, to oppose President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to bury dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
They marched to the consulate general of the Philippines in downtown Chicago to submit a petition against a heroes’ burial for Marcos. Consul General Generoso Calonge told them he would forward their demands to the Office of the President.
“All the views that are being ventilated right now worldwide will reach Manila,” Calonge said.
In their petition, they called for President Duterte to honor “true heroes worthy of emulation” and to reconsider his decision to give Marcos a heroes’ burial.
“I think burying Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani means a lot,” said Jerry Clarito, who has been living in Chicago for more than 3 decades. “It’s erasing the history of the people who fought against dictatorship and [an] oppressive system."
The petition was signed by over 23 people, some of whom claimed to be included in the list of thousands of people who were oppressed and repressed during Martial Law.
Joseph Lariosa, who said he was imprisoned while working as an entertainment journalist in thePhilippines during the Marcos era, was one of the 70,000 who were arrested during the regime, according to Amnesty International.
“I will agree [to a heroes’ burial for Marcos] only if the Marcos family will recognize the mistakes of Marcos under Martial Law and also if they return the loot that they have taken away from the Filipino people,” said Lariosa, who moved to Chicago in 1986.
“Otherwise, I'll feel bad if they let him get away with the murders, thievery, and all the bad things that happened under Martial Law,” he said.
The late dictator’s ill-gotten wealth is estimated at P170 million, according to the Presidential Commission on Good Governance.
Continuing the fight abroad
Although they have migrated, Filipino participants at the demonstration believe that being involved in Philippine affairs is still important.
“That’s happening here in Chicago – that we continue the tradition of resistance against any form of tyranny and we try to empower the community and the people by speaking out,” said Lariosa.
He said his opinions were repressed during the Marcos regime. “We were silenced and so at least here in America we’re allowed to talk and to express our sentiment.”
Their views were also echoed by the younger ones.
“I think there’s a lot of intersection between social problems abroad and social problems here,” said Naomi Salcedo, a Filipino-American born in the United States and who works for the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment Chicago.
“It’s very important for a lot of people even if we’re not born in the Philippines, even if we’re not all Filipino, we’re still part of that narrative, and our parents were part of that narrative. So I think regardless of whether you’re here or there, it still transcends those barriers,” she said. – Rappler.com