Davao group lambasts ‘sneaky’ Marcos burial

The ‘sneaky’ burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) was lambasted by a Davao-based group, saying that last Friday’s ceremony was done in bad faith.

“The burial is in breach of the law which does not make decisions final and executory until 15 days or motions for reconsideration (MRs) have been resolved.  The move, done on the 10th day after the SC ruling last November 8, is obviously meant to pre-empt and frustrate efforts to file MRs with the Supreme Court (SC),” the group Konsyensya Dabaw said in a statement to the media.

The group also expressed alarm over the burial that was facilitated in haste and its preparations made in secret.

“If the Marcoses truly believed that they had secured a just ruling from the SC why this dishonorable maneuver?” the group asked, adding that such cowardice would not be surprising from a family that remains unrepentant of their misdeeds and continues to bask in privilege.

The group also expressed disappoint upon learning of President Duterte’s full knowledge of the burial plans.

“This makes us ask, do the victims of Martial Law and those who oppose the hero’s burial mean so little to the President that he would condone a hasty burial?”

Konsyensya Dabaw added: “We note that the President is not in the country at this time. If he had really intended the Marcos burial to lead to healing and reconciliation, he would have seen to it that he is present to lead and unite his people during this critical time.”

Legal Basis

President Duterte was in Lima, Peru for the leaders’ meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) when the burial of the late strongman took place at LNMB.

The President said he was just being legalistic on the issue given that Marcos once served as President of the country and a soldier.

He added that allowing the burial at the LNMB was part of this administration’s move to heal the nation.

“I hope that everybody would find a space in their hearts to forgive and to set free those who had hurt and injured then,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said, relating the President’s message in a press briefing held inLima, Peru.

The President’s message, as read by Abella added: “The decision to bury the late President Ferdinand Marcos today (last Friday) is a personal decision of the Marcos family. We respect their choice of date for the interment. The Supreme Court lifted the status quo ante order and allowed the burial of the remains and the President adheres to the ruling of the high court.”

Abella added that the government extended the military assistance to the interment proceedings last Friday as a matter relating to protocols and honors.

The President also understood the sentiments of a segment of the country’s society against the burial and has allowed any form of legal and peaceful mass actions, Abella said.

Marcos Wish

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos said it was his father’s fervent wish that when he came to the end of his days that he be buried in a simple soldier’s ceremony.  

“We have waited 27 years to fulfill that wish that he left us with. But we are here today and we are able to grant him that wish. In keeping with his desires, we will keep this ceremony simple and it is left to the family and I speak in their behalf, on behalf of the Marcos family, to thank all those who actually helped and made this day a reality,” the young Marcos said in a statement.

He also thanked President Duterte for recognizing his father’s service to the nation and expressed gratitude to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who came to pay their last respects to their former Commander-in-Chief and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the support it provided during the ceremony.

The former senator also thanked the Filipino people for their continuing support of his father’s dream of unity and progress for the country.

“So let today be the first day amongst many days, and months, and years of our continuing to work for the unity and the progress of our country. Let us be the heroes that my father asked us all to be and finally bring the Filipino nation together and finally bring the Filipinos to greatness,” he said.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos also issued a statement last Friday stressing the fulfilment of her family’s dream of burying the late President at the LNMB.

“Kasama naming kayong nangarap at nanalangin sa halos tatlong dekada na makita ang araw na ito. Kaya naman ako po’y humihingi ng dispensa at pangunawa sa nagging pasya ng aking pamilya nag awing payak, pribado at taimtim ang paglibing ng aking ama upang hindi na masaling ang mga magdaramdam,” she said.

Like a Thief in the Night

Last Friday’s burial of Marcos at the LNMB was popularly described by critics as sneaky, secretive and stealth.

Vice President Leni Robredo issued a statement last Friday, saying that the burial was done “like a thief in the night,” adding that the Marcos family deliberately hid the information of the internment.

“This is nothing new to the Marcoses – they who had hidden wealth, hidden human rights abuses, and now, a hidden burial – with complete disrespect of the rule of law,” the vice president said.

She also hit the legal basis of the move, saying that the Marcos family obviously flouted the law as the decision of the SC has not become final and executory until 15 days of the resolution of the MR (motion for reconsideration).

“We are disturbed that this happened in coordination with AFP and PNP demonstrating further that the judicial process has been thoroughly disregarded,” she said.

Robredo also reiterated her belief that the former President is no hero and that if he was, obviously his family would not have to hide his burial like a shameful criminal deed.

Thousands of students also walked out from their classrooms last Friday and protested the interment of Marcos at LNMB.

They later joined other protesting groups and converged at the historic EDSA shrine until the evening.

The Twitter was also flooded with twits last Friday as netizens expressed anger and grief over the LNMB interment rites.

Among the popular twits recorded are the following: “A thief will be buried like a thief in the night: swiftly and stealthily”; “Patay na pero sneaky pa rin. Nice, nice”; “Lakas maka-salisi gang ng Marcoses. Langya, they’re doing it like a pro”; “May mosyon pa, ililibing na. Mas malalim pa kaysa Marianas Trench ang pinaghuhugutan ng kakapalan ng mukha ng pamilyang ito”.

Journalist Lourd de Veyra also twitted: “May drone ba na kaya magdala ng isang sakong ebak?”; Singer Jim Paredes said: “The thief will be buried today, hurriedly like a thief in the night! True to his character”; Jayveel Cornelio: “Marcos is getting buried today. The Palace denies knowing it. The people chose Barabbas and Pontius Pilate washed his hands”; and Senator Risa Hontiveros: “Hanggang dulo, nagnanakaw si Marcos. Ang kanyang pekeng hero’s burial ay isang nakaw na sandali.”

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) also likened Marcos’ burial at the LNMB last Friday as one “who lives like a thief, gets buried like a thief.

In a statement, the CHR said the Marcoses had stolen from the coffers of government and deprived the Filipinos of their dignity.

“And like thieves, they now surreptitiously undertook a patently illegal act, totally disregarding the ongoing judicial process where a decision has not even attained finality, and continue to deprive us of a just conclusion to a dark period in our nation’s history,” the CHR added.

The commission also reiterated its belief that the burial patently unlawful as it contravenes the human rights obligation enshrined both in the Philippine Constitution as well as in international law and reaffirms that the same did not and cannot erase the uncontroverted fact of impunity for human rights violations committed during Martial Law.