MANILA, Philippines – Emotions are high after the Supreme Court thumbed down the petitions barring a hero's burial for former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos loyalists celebrate the SC ruling and thank the justices for a favorable decision. Anti-Marcos groups, meanwhile, express their disappointment.
Mara Cepeda reports.
Marcos loyalists celebrate the Supreme Court decision allowing the hero’s burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
It’s a celebration 27 years in the making. They now pray for national unity and healing.
For them, the High Court’s ruling is vindication against the critics of the late dictator.
Emotions are high among supporters after the Supreme Court, voting 9-5, junked petitions against a hero’s burial for the late strongman.
Some of them could not contain their tears.
GLORIA REYES, Marcos loyalist: Maligayang-maligaya ako. Nag-uumapaw ang kaligayahan ko dahil napakatagal ko pong hinantay ito. Sobrang-sobra po ang kaligayahan ko kaya salamat po sa inyong lahat.
(My happiness is overflowing because I have waited a long time for this. Thank you to everyone.)
At the gates of the High Court, pro-Marcos groups sing songs, wave the Philippine flag, and flash the signature Marcos V hand sign.
His daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, is delighted that the SC ruled in her family’s favor.
IMEE MARCOS, Ilocos Norte governor: Maraming salamat sa ating Korte Suprema. Malaking bagay din ito sa ating bagong Pangulo na nanawagan para sa paghihilom at pagkakaisa ng bansa. Kung kaya nating kausapin ang ating kapatid na mga Muslim, kaya nating kausapin ang mga dating NPA at CPP, kaya rin naman sigurong pagbigyan ang mga Ilocano at lahat ng loyalista sa Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, Region 8, Tacloban, sa lahat sa amin na nagmamalasakit sa aming pamilya.
(Thank you to the Supreme Court. This is a big thing for our new President who called for healing and national unity. If we can talk to our Muslim brothers and former members of the NPA and CPP, then we can give way to Ilocanos and all the Marcos loyalists in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, Region 8, Tacloban, and all those who support my family.)
But across the road, the anti-Marcos groups are quiet as they think of the next steps after their defeat.
Petitioner Neri Colmenares says they are planning to file a motion for reconsideration.
NERI COLMENARES, petitioner: Nakakagalit na nakakalungkot kung matalo pa dito ang taongbayan dahil parang nawalan ng saysay ang kasaysayan. Parang nagbago ang kasaysayan bigla ngayong araw eh.
(This is enraging and saddening because history seems to have lost its meaning. It’s like history was changed today.)
Carmencita Florentino, who was tortured during the Marcos regime, is also disappointed at the SC magistrates.
CARMENCITA FLORENTINO: Sa panig naming mga biktima, masakit nga ‘no, kasi parang pagyurak ‘yan sa ating mga Pilipino, sa lahat, hindi lang para sa amin kung ‘di para sa susunod pang henerasyon. Tutuloy pa rin namin ang laban.
(For us victims, this is painful because it’s like trampling on all Filipinos, not just us but including the next generation. The fight continues.)
But Imee urges her father’s critics to move on.
IMEE MARCOS, Ilocos Norte governor: Kung anuman ang galit, pagpopoot, hinanakit sa inyong puso, let it go na po. At pagpapatawad at mag-move on na tayo. Magkaisa na ang Pilipinas at isang buong-buong bagong Pilipinas ang ating itatatag," she added.
(Any anger and bitterness in your hearts, let it go. Let's forgive and move on. May the Philippines unite and let's build a new, solid nation together.)
The Marcos family is yet to decide the exact date for the burial, but Imee wants it done at the soonest possible time, with the ceremony to be kept simple. For now, Marcos’ relatives and supporters rejoice that the late strongman will soon be given a hero’s burial.
Mara Cepeda, Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com