MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said burying the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is like burying the people's victory against his dictatorship.
Robredo, who defeated Marcos' son and namesake Ferdinand Marcos Jr in the May elections, said that President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to allow the hero's burial would have a serious impact. (READ: Robredo: 'Marcos is no hero')
"Malaki ang epekto in the sense na, lalong lalo na 'yung nakilaban sa diktaturya, talagang mabigat siyang dalhin kasi parang napapapunta sa wala 'yung lahat ng ipinaglaban," the Vice President said during a press briefing on Tuesday, August 16.
(It will have a major effect especially on those who fought against the dictatorship. It would be a heavy burden to bear because it seems that their fight just went to waste.)
Various groups, mostly composed of human rights victims during the Marcos regime, have asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the interment set in September – the late dictator's birth month.
There are currently two pending petitions before the High Court. (READ: Lawmakers, NGO file 2nd petition vs Marcos hero's burial)
The petitions were filed after Malacañang reiterated Duterte's firm stance on Marcos' burial, despite a protest against it. Public figures and civil society groups had gathered at the Rizal Park to urge the President to change his decision. (READ: In anti-Marcos burial rally, Martial Law tales come alive)
Duterte has said he will respect the SC's decision on the matter. Oral arguments on the petitions will begin on August 24.
Robredo still hopeful
Robredo, however, said she remains hopeful that the President will change his mind on the issue.
Asked if she can influence Duterte to withdraw his order favoring the Marcos family, Robredo said she can only lay out her arguments.
"He knows [it already.] I've been vocal about it. I know my limitation, and I think I don't have persuasive power over him," Robredo said in a mix of English and Filipino.
A longtime human rights lawyer before joining politics, Robredo has been critical of the atrocities committed during Martial Law.
She previously said it is her generation's responsibility to teach the younger ones about the heroism of their forefathers, while reiterating that "Marcos is no hero." – Rappler.com