Aquino: Martial Law not just between my family, Marcoses

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III on Sunday, November 6, joined around a hundred human rights advocates and Martial Law victims in a prayer rally and concert urging the Supreme Court (SC) to vote against a hero's burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

This was Aquino's first time to attend a gathering of Marcos protesters since President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).

"I chose to be silent first because I want voices of other victims to be heard," the former president told reporters in Filipino.

"I had decades to [talk about the issue]. Now this is the chance for the people to see that this is not only about the feud between our families. This is a struggle of many Filipinos."

Aquino is the son of two political icons who fought the dictator – late senator Benigno Aquino Jr and late president Corazon Aquino.

The Aquino patriarch was incarcerated for criticizing the declaration of Martial Law and was later assassinated, while his wife rose to the presidency after leading the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled Marcos in 1986.

Three decades after Marcos was ousted, Duterte has allowed the late strongman's remains to be buried at the national shrine for heroes. This has prompted 6 petitions before the SC to stop the planned burial, which was originally set for September. (READ: SC orals on Marcos burial: Issues and answers)

On Tuesday, November 8, the SC is expected to release its ruling on the matter as the status quo ante order which it previously issued – and extended twice – will expire. (READ: SC orals: How justices pursued issues on Marcos burial– Rappler.com

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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