13 April 2011
Honoring Marcos: A Distortion of History
The House Resolution No. 1135, reviving the desperate move to bury the
late-dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is
betraying the Filipino people with its distortion of history and is
insulting our very dignity as a nation.
The resolution which has already been signed by more than 200 members of
the House of Representatives manifests a shameful ignorance of our
nation’s history. It tramples on the collective dignity of
the Filipino people especially of those who valiantly struggled during
the dark days of Martial Law, some of whom suffered persecution and
consequently lost their lives. The late
Senator Benigno Aquino was among them.
It is quite an irony to give Marcos a “hero’s burial” while granting the
victims of human rights violations symbolic compensation from his
ill-gotten wealth. The dictator
Marcos, accused of committing widespread human rights abuses and looting
billions of dollars from state coffers during his 20-year dictatorship,
was judged guilty of human rights violations by the US Federal Court of
We protest the treacherous act of these 200 lawmakers in resolving to
allow Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
(Heroes’ Burial) in the guise of magnanimous reconciliation. It is a
betrayal of history and a deprivation of the future generation to know
the truth. Marcos, who died unrepentant of his wrongful deeds while his
heirs and scions continue to stay in power with total impunity and
ironically maintain grandiose display of luxuries, never deserves
How can we forgive when
thousands of victims of human rights violations during his more than
continue to endure
the pain and sufferings and are still seeking for justice?
How can we forget when the country is still burdened with illegitimate
debt due to his plundering?
Giving Marcos the honor and forgiveness will only coagulate the existing
climate of impunity that allows perpetrators to escape responsibility
for their crimes.
The 200 senators who signed the said resolution have no right to
exonerate Marcos for the sins he committed against the Filipino people.
Perpetrators of human rights violations like him should have asked for
forgiveness and do the necessary reparation and redress in order to
re-dignify the victims. Without justice, genuine reconciliation is
We, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances cannot allow
the memory of those who disappeared, tortured and killed during Martial
law to be obliterated from history by honoring the very dictator who
ordered these human rights violations to be committed in the name of
We will never cease in our struggle against forgetting. We will never
let our nation to succumb to oblivion.
We are therefore calling
on the lawmakers who signed the said House resolution to withdraw their
signatures and warning them never to distort our history.
We also call on Pres. Benigno Aquino III to be true to his
words during his inaugural speech when he said that
reconciliation can only happen when justice is first rendered. He owes
it to his parents, he owes it to the Filipino people.
The road to genuine reconciliation is not an obliteration of our dark
past. It should take into consideration the revelation of the truth
that guarantees accountability.
To heal the wounds of the nation is to accept the responsibility of what
happened and ensure that such atrocities will never happen again!
and authenticated by:
MARY AILEEN D. BACALSO