MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) on Saturday, August 13, opposed the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).
They also called on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte "to finally end all plans of buring Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan, and to urge the Marcos family to permanently bury Mr Marcos in Ilocos."
"Mr Marcos does not belong in the Libingan ng mga Bayani," CEAP said in an open letter to Duterte.
"He was not a hero," the group added.
Founded in 1941, CEAP is the national association of Catholic schools in the Philippines. More than 1,200 schools belong to this group.
In rejecting a hero’s burial for Marcos, CEAP cited the following:
CEAP's appeal to Duterte
Duterte wants Marcos buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he said this will promote "healing" in the country.
CEAP, however, stressed in its letter to Duterte: "Given the gravity of Mr Marcos' crimes against the people and country, his burial at the Libingan will not heal or foster unity. It will invalidate all that many heroes have spent their lives fighting for – heroes such as your beloved mother, whom we honor and remember as one of the strongest crusaders in the fight for democracy and justice."
Referring to the President by his nickname Rody, CEAP said: "President Rody, we ask that you heal this festering wound. Let this be your legacy. Please do not allow the burial of Mr Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani."
This comes as the Philippine Army is already preparing to give Marcos military honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.