Marcos loyalists on SC ruling: ‘It’s a great vindication’

Mara Cepeda
Supporters of Ferdinand Marcos thank both the Supreme Court and President Rodrigo Duterte for backing a hero's burial for the late dictator

'VINDICATION.' The Supreme Court on November 8, 2016, rules 9-5 in favor of the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The wait was worth it.

Hundreds of loyal supporters of former president Ferdinand Marcos cheered upon hearing the news that the Supreme Court (SC) justices, voting 9-5, junked petitions stopping a hero’s burial for the late strongman on Tuesday, November 8.

Wearing red and white shirts bearing the face of the former president, Marcos loyalists sang songs, waved the Philippine flag, and flashed Marcos’ signature V-sign as they celebrated their victory.

For many of them, the SC ruling was a “vindication” after activists and Martial Law victims filed petitions against Marcos’ interment at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. 

“Yes. ‘Yung pagkalibing niya (His burial), it’s a great vindication. It’s a clear vindication,” said Vivian Rodriguez, a Marcos supporter from the Pilipinas Kong Mahal Group.

“Hindi ko ma-express. No words na fitted sa kasiyahan namin. Pero ang masasabi ko lang anak, kung siya ang naging dahilan, may nagalit sa kanya, nahati-hati ang mga Pilipino, pero siya rin – God is very good all the time – siya rin ang ginawa na ipinagdasal namin na magkaisa na,” said Vivian. 

(I can’t express my feelings. No words are fit to explain how happy we are. But all I can say is that if he were the reason that Filipinos became divided – God is very good all the time – he is also the one who will unite us.)

Gloria Reyes, another supporter, could not stop herself from crying upon learning that the SC justices voted in the Marcoses’ favor. 

“Naguumapaw ang kaligayahan ko dahil napakatagal ko pong hinintay ito. Sobrang-sobra po ang kaligayahan ko kaya salamat po sa inyong lahat,” said an emotional Reyes.

(My happiness is overflowing because I have waited a long time for this. Thank you to everyone.)

She thanked President Rodrigo Duterte, who had promised during the campaign period to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Duterte said laws and military guidelines allow Marcos’ interment because he is a former president and soldier.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Alam ko kahit papano, gusto niya rin pong mapalibing ang aming dakilang pangulo para magkaroon ng pagkakaisa. Kaya President Rodrigo Duterte, maraming-maraming salamat po sa Panginoon,” said Reyes.

(Thank you to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. I know that he also wants our great president to be buried so we will have unity. So thank you to President Rodrigo Duterte and to God.)

Two of Marcos’ children, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, both thanked the SC justices and called for “national healing.” – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.