MANILA, Philippines – Survivors of the First Quarter Storm urged the public to remember the period of heavy protests in 1970 that triggered the declaration of Martial Law, citing this as argument against giving dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial.
“We should never forget the First Quarter Storm of 1970 as a major node in the development of the new democratic revolution in the Philippines,” the group FQS Survivors Dekada ’70 of Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, said in a statement on Tuesday, August 23.
The First Quarter Storm was a series of protests, staged mostly by student activists, during the first 3 months of 1970. This prompted Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, citing threatening unrest from the communists. (READ: TIMELINE: First Quarter Storm)
“The achievements of the Philippine revolution since 1970 would not have been possible without this storm. We owe to it the emergence and development of so many cadres and mass activists and the growth of the revolutionary forces on a nationwide scale,” the group said.
Among the notable personalities of the First Quarter Storm was Ateneo de Manila student leader Edgar “Edjop” Jopson, who was killed by the military in September 1982.
Speaking for Jopson and other fellow Martial Law victims, the group reiterated that burying the late dictator would reopen the wounds of the dark authoritarian rule.
“Kung ipapatupad at matutuloy ito, ang mga mamamayang apektado at naghirap nung mga panahon na ’yon, ay hindi makapag-move on and lalo silang maiinsulto at masasaktan,” the group said.
(If this will push through, the affected citizens who had a hard time during those times won’t be able to move on and be more insulted and hurt.)
“[We] strongly oppose the burial of the dictator President Fredinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. It is a grave injustice and insult to our living heroes and those who fell victims during his dictatorship,” the group said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military interment of Marcos, but the Supreme Court has issued a status quo ante order for 20 days. The tribunal is set to hear on August 31 the petitions against the hero’s burial. – Patty Pasion/Rappler.com