MANILA (Mabuhay) – The burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani should not “wash the sins of the past,” a leader at the House of Representatives said Monday.
“It should not be looked at as a way to wash the sins of the past…Bagamat ito’y importanteng gawain, hindi ito dapat ang katapusan,” House Deputy Speaker and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo said in a media breifing.
“Kung mangyari ito, ito’y desisyon ng Pangulo. Hindi nangangahulugan na tapos na ‘yung laban sa mga biktima ng Martial Law,” he added.
Duterte confirmed over the weekend that he had given the go signal to bury Marcos on September 18 at the heroes’ cemetery, an issue which has divided even members of Congress.
Quimbo said the burial was not as simple as putting closure to the issue.
“Kung ang paglilibing ay dapat nagdadala ng katahimikan tulad ng kahit anong paglilibing, ito’y isang paglilibing na hindi magdadala ng katahimikan,” he said.
The lawmaker said that although there is an existing law providing the qualification of Marcos to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery, the question remains on how justice should be attained for the victims of Martial Law.
For his part, Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro said issues of human rights violations and ill-gotten wealth should not be, in any way, connected to Marcos’ burial.
“Any other issues other than the physical burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani cannot be associated there,” Castro said.
“I have to assume that this has already been studied. Marcos has satisfied all the qualifications then I will subscribe to the decision of the President na si Marcos ay dapat ilibing sa mga Libingan ng mga Bayani,” he added.
Castro reiterated the existing law—Republic Act 289 — which provides that former presidents can be buried at the heroes’ cemetery, along with national heroes and patriots of the country.
“We are a government of laws and therefore our laws should be followed. We cannot set aside and disregard our laws,” he argued.
Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson said the public should let history decide on the never-ending debates on the accomplishments and wrongdoings during the Marcos era.
“‘Yung ibang issues: human rights, social rights, sa history na siguro yung pagu-usapan. I mean, ‘yung debate na ‘yun talagang walang katapusan ‘yun,” he said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday already issued a memorandum ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines to undertake the necessary preparations to have the late dictator buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
According to Lorenzana, this is in compliance with Duterte’s verbal order to implement his campaign promise.(MNS)