MANILA, Philippines – “Ferdinand E. Marcos is not a hero.”
This is the resounding message of netizens who have launched protests online against the plan of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to bury dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).
“I will allow the burial of President Marcos sa (at the) Libingan ng mga Bayani not because he is a hero, kung ayaw ng iba (if others don’t like it), but because he was a Filipino soldier, period,” Duterte said.
The statement, as Duterte expected, sparked outrage from netizens and various groups who believe Marcos do not deserve to be treated as a hero given his human rights abuses during the martial law.
This is the same reason cited by the online petition campaigning against the planned burial.
Dolly de Leon launched a Change.org petition on Tuesday, May 24, citing 6 reasons Marcos should not be buried beside hundreds of Filipino heroes whose remains lay in the cemetery.
“Laying him to rest at the Heroes’ Cemetery is a disdainful act that will send a message to the future of our nation – our children – that the world we live in rewards forceful and violent hands,” the campaign note said.
As of posting, the petition has earned 3,226 signatures.
According to initial talks, Marcos would be buried on September 11, his birthday. He would have turned 99 years old then.
On Facebook, users Zena Bernardo and Arns Jara created an event page, launching an online protest against burial.
“Ngayon pa lang, dito sa FB, sana ay makita niya na marami tayong hindi papayag. We need your help. Magtawag na ng mga kasama para sa ONLINE protest na ito,” the event page said.
(As early as now, we should manifest our protest against this plan. We need your help. Encourage your friends to join this online protest.)
In 1986, millions of Filipinos held the historic “People Power I” to put an end to Marcos’ two-decade rule. Under Marcos, his family and cronies were accused of plundering state coffers, suppressing civil rights, and torturing and killing activists.
Despite these, Marcos’ widow, Imelda and her children, were allowed to return to the country and run for government position. Since then, family members have held various local and national elective positions, while the government has yet to recover the full amount of known ill-gotten wealth by the Marcoses.
Marcos’ wife Imelda recently won reelection as 2nd district congresswoman of Ilocos Norte, while his daughter Imee is reelected, unopposed, as governor. His son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr is in a tight race for vice president against Liberal Party’s Leni Robredo. – Rappler.com