The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, a socialist labor group, joins Filipinos in denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision to authorize President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to bury the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Ferdinand Marcos is no hero: He was responsible for killing and torturing thousands of people—including many workers. He looted the public treasury. And he created the conditions that made the lives of millions of Filipinos miserable.
To bury him at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is to glorify rather than condemn mass murder, torture, and plunder.
Duterte’s determination to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is certainly payback for the Marcoses’ support for his candidacy. While he has so far failed to fulfill his campaign promises to workers, he has demonstrated a steely sense of purpose in fulfilling his promise to the Marcos family.
More than just repaying debts, however, Duterte’s determination to glorify Marcos is also an expression of his support for dictatorship and his contempt for democratic rights.
All previous regimes, and all those whose interests they protected, deserve part of the blame for making dictatorship seem to many like a better alternative than our current system.
The Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, GMA, and Aquino II administrations not only failed to deliver justice to Marcos’ victims; they also all failed to carry out the social reforms that would have prevented people from believing that a return to out-and-out authoritarianism can solve their problems.
But let us not gloss over the fact that the Supreme Court would not have made the ignoble stand they made today if not for President Duterte’s insistence that a hated dictator be glorified as a hero.
Both President Duterte—as well as the nine Justices who voted in support of his plan—are spitting on the memory of all those who suffered during, and as a consequence of, the Marcos dictatorship.
They are also reinforcing the climate of impunity reigning in the country and emboldening ruling warlords and political dynasties to shun all democratic pretenses and rule with iron fists.
But even if they use the laws to deodorize and legitimize dictatorship, they will never succeed in turning a villain into a hero.
We call on all Filipinos to join us in denouncing this travesty of justice, and we support all protests and direct actions against the dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.