On SC decision allowing hero’s burial of Marcos at LNMB
We condemn the nine Supreme Court justices for their abominable decision allowing a hero’s burial for the dictator Marcos. We also denounce the regimes after EDSA 1, from that of Corazon Aquino to Benigno Aquino III, which failed to hold the Marcoses and their cronies accountable for rights abuses, corruption, and anti-people policies. These US-backed governments enabled the political rehabilitation of the Marcoses.
We put to task Pres. Rodrigo Duterte for his political patronage of the Marcoses, including his approval of the hero’s honors for the dictator. While he may be indebted to them for votes of the so-called Solid North delivered by the Marcoses, he should be reminded of his foremost duty which is to uphold the sovereign will and action of the Filipino people who ousted Marcos in 1986.
The Supreme Court’s decision, while being touted as bereft of any political context or motivation, effectively contributes to the political restoration of the Marcoses and is in direct contradiction to the sovereign will of the people who ousted Marcos in EDSA 1. Marcos was nothing but an enemy of the people. The atrocities during martial law are more than enough reason not to bury him at any heroes’ pantheon. We are still paying for the billions of dollars of debt left by the Marcoses. The dictator also strengthened the institutions for massive corruption and plunder, through his cronies. His unbridled puppetry to the US resulted in the abuses of the US military in the country.
Regimes after Edsa 1 conveniently used Marcos’s established structures of corruption and political patronage for their own interest. These regimes did not only fail in holding the Marcoses accountable, but deliberately maintained the existing system of corruption and farcical electoral exercises, the neoliberal policies that exacerbated poverty, the fascist machineries of the State, and the unequal relations of the Philippines with the US.
If Duterte wants proof of the crimes of the dictator Marcos, he should listen to the cries of the martial law victims. The more than tens of thousands of victims, who have yet to be genuinely recognized and indemnified, are still seeking justice. They are enough proof of the systematic human rights and people’s rights violations during martial law. It was the martial law victims’ unwavering and uncompromising struggle for justice that led to the judgment in the landmark class suit filed in the Hawaii District Court which found Marcos accountable. The martial law victims’ untiring efforts likewise led to the enactment of a law for the recognition and indemnification of the victims.
Karapatan will continue to support martial law victims in their efforts to attain justice. We will continue to campaign against the hero’s burial of Marcos. We will put to task as well the Human Rights Victims Claims Board, that is dragging its feet in delivering the long overdue reparations for the victims.
We will continue to educate, organize and mobilize the people, most especially the youth, on the atrocities during martial law, and the imprints of martial law that remain palpable to this day. No amount of historical revisionism can change the incontrovertible facts of the horrors during the martial law period. We will continue to struggle for real social change, not only on the kind that rests on mere change of presidents and administrations, but based on the people’s aspirations for genuine freedom and democracy.