DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A group opposing the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery lit candles and offered prayers in a ceremony here Monday.
Konsensya Dabaw led the candle lighting a day before the Supreme Court is set to rule on the issue of Marcos hero’s burial. Originally slated on Oct. 18, the SC, sitting in an en banc, is expected to render judgment today.
“We know that it will be a heavy responsibility for the SC that they have been asked to make the decision,” said Mags Maglana, spokesperson of Konsensya Dabaw.
The group is optimistic that at least eight SC justices will favor the petition to ban the burial of Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
Maglana said they believe that the “rule of law” must prevail.
“They [SC] understood not just the regulations but also the justice and history,” said Maglana.
“We do not want to return to authoritarianism, we do not want glorification of past violence,” she said.
The group also urged Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to speak about the issue of historical injustices during the Martial Law.
“He has been vocal with the historical injustices done against the Lumad and Moro. Our call is that he could expand the injustices done by Marcos,” Maglana pointed out.
She said both the Moros and Lumad, have suffered systematic disenfranchisement and state-sponsored abuses under the Marcos regime. “That was just 30 years ago, still fresh to our memory.”
“He need not look far for examples. The Davao region has a long list of people who suffered directly under the unjust government of Marcos,” Maglana said.
Maglana claimed that a number of those who supported Duterte’s presidential bid and now part of his administration were once victims of Marcos’ “brutality”.
“We will continue to hold the Duterte administration accountable for fulfilling the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act (RA 10368 as amended by RA 10766), which makes it a State responsibility to recognize the heroism and sacrifices of the victims of human rights violations during the regime of Marcos,” she added.
On Oct. 16, prior to his state visit at Brunei, Pres. Duterte said that he will respect the decision of the SC.
Continuing Martial Law education
Whether Marcos’ remains will be transferred to the Heroes’ Cemetery or not, Konsensya Dabaw vowed to intensify their advocacy campaign on educating the people about Martial Law.
“We will follow SC’s decision, but we have seen how meaningful to educate the people on the matter,” Maglana said.
“That is why we reached this situation, that the people were divided on the burial issue, because the government failed to educate the people about our history,” Maglana added. “We should correct that in the following days.”
Maglana said that her group will be lobbying to the Department of Education to include events that transpired during Martial Law and human rights issues as well.
“We will lobby to the Deped on how to teach martial law in public schools, and incorporate in the private schools’ associations,” she said. “There are more things to be done.”(davaotoday.com)