3,900 sign online petition vs. burial of Marcos in Heroes’ cemetery

May. 25, 2016

TAGUM CITY — More than 3,900 individuals have signed as of today an online petition opposing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The online petition on Change.Org has called on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte not to bury Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery because it is “an affront to the thousands of lives tortured and murdered” during the latter’s reign.

“A hero does not take away freedom, he campaigns for it and fights for its survival for the sake of others. Laying him to rest at the Heroes’ Cemetery is a disdainful act that will send a message to the future of our nation – our children – that the world we live in rewards forceful and violent hands,” wrote Dolly De Leon, a citizen based in  Mandaluyong, Philippines who initiated the online petition.

The petition said Duterte’s plan to bury Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery will “further sever the opportunity for unity since this is an injustice to the victims of Martial Law and the families they left behind.”

Duterte had earlier said that he will allow Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he was a soldier. He also reasoned out that “the issue on the burial of President Marcos has long created divisions among our people.”

For Lester Abuel, burying Marcos’ at the heroes’ cemetery will be an insult to the victims of Martial law. “I do not want the victims of Martial Law to have died for nothing. It is an insult to the lives they lived that their killer is revered as a hero. On the technical side, there have been a lot of literature that disproves Marcos’ so-called heroism as a soldier.”

The petition pointed out that Marcos’ Martial Law declaration in 1972 was a “historical fact” which left 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 tortured, and 3,240 killed.

Apart from Marcos’ human rights abuses, the petition also noted that during his regime, “foreign debt increased from $355 million in 1962 to $28.3 billion in 1986. The peso value to the dollar decreased from 3.90 in 1966 to 20.53 in 1986.”

The petition also argued that Marcos was ousted from power which makes him disqualified to be buried in the heroes’ cemetery. “Ferdinand E. Marcos is not a hero. Only heroes are buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery as the name so literally states.”

Another petitioner Tiffany Nicole Corrales from Antipolo said: “You are tainting the hallowed grounds where heroes lie if you let the biggest traitor to the Filipino nation be placed in the same area as them.”  (davaotoday.com)

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