LIGHT RAINS did not dampen the rage of protesters over the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMNB).
The Filipinos who gathered at the Quirino Grandstand in what was dubbed as the “National Day of Unity and Rage” also held President Rodrigo Duterte liable for allowing the burial.
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said Duterte had the choice to grant or disapprove the hero’s burial because no law states that Marcos should be buried at LNMB but only under the regulations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“Reconciliation? Paano tayo magkaroon ng reconciliation kung ni hindi in-a-acknowledge ng mga Marcos na may human rights violations at may plunder noong Martial Law […] at kung hindi ibalik ang bilyun-bilyong nakaw na yaman ng mga Marcos sa taong bayan?” Colmenares said.
Duterte gave the green light on the hero’s burial of the late dictator, hoping that Filipinos, especially victims of Martial Law, would “find a space in their hearts to forgive and to set free those who have hurt or injured them.”
Mary John Mananzan, an activist nun from St. Scholastica’s College during the Martial Law era, said that senior citizens who fought Marcos’ presidency serve as the youth’s “memory” that would remind them of what happened during Martial Law.
“Sasabihin ko sa inyo, dapat wala nang mangyayari pang ulit na nangyari noon. No more martial law. No more Marcos ideology… Ako’y natutuwa [kasi] kapag wala na kami…sa isang taon o buwan, nandito pa kayong lahat. Talagang you are the hope of our country,” Mananzan said.
Among the group of demonstrators were students from the University of Santo Tomas, Philippine Normal University, Adamson University, University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, St. Scholastica’s College, De La Salle University, and Ateneo De Manila University.
Event organizers estimated that around 15,000 to 20,000 people participated in the rally. But officers from the Manila Police District said there were only about 3,000 people by 8 p.m.
An umbrella group of martial law victims, Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses in Malacañang, organized the protests.
On Nov. 8, the Supreme Court allowed the burial of the former president at the LNMB with a 9-5-1 vote.
Ten days after, the Marcos family shocked Filipinos with the secrecy-shrouded burial of the former president.
Duterte, during his recent presidential campaign, promised to allow the hero’s burial of the late dictator, claiming that Marcos has the right to be buried at the LNMB because he was a soldier and a former president. F M.E.T. DINO, M.F. FACTOR, A.A.F. TORRES, V.M.M. VILLEGAS