DAVAO CITY — During the celebration of the 31st Kadayawan festival, a group opposing the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani gathered to honor the Lumads and Moro who were slain during Martial Law.
Members of the movement, Konsyensya Dabaw, gathered in front of Ateneo De Davao University “to honor the Lumads and Moro who where victimized by Ferdinand Marcos during martial law.”
Mags Maglana, a convener of the group said that their event is their “contribution to the celebration of the 31st Kadayawan festival.”
She said “one way to honor the 11 tribes of Davao is to ensure that the dictator who facilitated encroachments into their ancestral domains, terrorized their communities, coopted their leaders, and commoditized their cultures is not honored as a hero!”
“Here in Davao, we educate people about the Lumads and Moro but to the rest of the country they do not understand and they just think that Lumads are for tourism and the big part of that was during the years of Marcos,” Maglana said.
In a statement, the group said the former President “facilitated the entry of big businesses in mining, logging and plantations—often in cooperation with foreign interests—into the lands of Lumad and Moro.”
“In 1979 logging concessions in Mindanao covered five million hectares, nearly half the land area of Mindanao, and were mainly in the domains of the Lumad and Moro,” the group said.
It also said that during the Martial Law, declared by Marcos, “many Lumad and Moro communities were repeatedly displaced, and many were harmed and even killed.”
“In truth the wars favored the big businesses who then set up mining and logging operations, and agricultural plantations in the areas forcibly abandoned by the Lumad and Moro, and Marcos himself who was able to hold on to power for a long time,” it said.
During the event, the group used umbrella as a symbolism to show visibility of the event and also protection.
“We want it a visible event but we don’t want to disrupt the Kadayawan and also a protection to our democratic ideals and instiutions of the country but if call a dictator a hero, what are you actually saying? Open for attack, our governemnt institution and democratic ideals will not be protected,” she said
Maglana clarified that the event is not an “anti-Duterte protest”.
“We are only appealing to the President to continue the consultation with the Martial law victims,” she said.
“Ang dami ng Martial Law victims and yung mga pamilya nila, so imagine how they would feel na ang pinahalagahan lang ay isang family lang, which is the Marcoses (There are so many Martial Law victims and their families. So imagine how they would feel that the government is only favoring the Marcoses),” she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has already approved the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He said he would be violating the law if he prohibits his burial at the heroes’ cemetery.
“I am a president and I have sworn my duty to follow the law, and not to follow the sentiments of the political side of the other side of the fence,” he said. “The law does not even mention heroes. It simply says that if you are a soldier and in another section of the law, there is the president,” he said in a press conference on August 11.
Aside from honoring the Lumad and Moro, the group also commemorate the bombing in Plaza Meranda last August 21, 1971 “which was used by Marcos to have emergency power and declare the suspension of Habeas Corpus.” It also coincided with the death anniversary of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino who was assassinated on Agosto 21, 1983. (davaotoday.com)