Filipinos slam Marcos a year after hero’s burial

Rambo Talabong
Filipinos slam Marcos a year after hero’s burial
The Philippines marks the first year since dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried a hero upon the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Never forget indeed.

Filipinos from different groups united on Saturday, November 18, to slam the late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos, a year after he was stealthily buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

The country recognizes the LNMB as its heroes’ cemetery — a place that many Filipinos believe is not for a dictator like Marcos. (TIMELINE: The Marcos burial controversy)

Officials, non-governmental organizations, and netizens aired their views on this issue through tweets or statements using the hashtags #NeverAgain and #NeverForget.

Beyond desktops and mobile applications, protesters also took their appeal outside the LNMB’s gates, bringing shovels with them as they called for Marcos’ exhumation.

We gather once again to remind this regime and its enablers that we will never grow tired of taking to the streets until Marcos’ remains – and all the horrors of dictatorship that he symbolizes – are exhumed from the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” anti-Marcos Block Marcos group said in their statement as they led the demonstration.

The group was referring to Marcos decade-long military rule in the Philippines, which was marred by allegations of human rights violations, corruption, and abuse of power.

The Marcos family has repeatedly denied such claims as they worked on a political revival in the country which once forced them into exile.

Minority senators hit ‘false hero’

In government, minority senators led critics in slamming Marcos’ interment.

While a false hero was being buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery, true heroes were rising to the challenge and making their voices heard. All across the country, we saw the power of a people who never forgot the truth about this dictator,” their statement read.

Supporters of the Marcos family, as expected, countered the indignation with calls to “move on” then focus on the country’s current problems.

Some 45 years ever after Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, the country continues to struggle in facing poverty and alleged human rights violations.

And again, as critics have repeatedly pointed out, the Philippines is once more led by a strongman in the person of President Rodrigo Duterte–

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.