Marcos not a hero

A labor non-government organization is saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court on November 8, allowing the hero’s burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) expresses its dissent over the high court’s ruling citing countless cases of human rights violations, including abduction of numerous labor rights activists, and passing of questionable labor laws. During martial law, strikes were specifically forbidden and thousands of Filipino workers were denied fundamental rights.

The Libingan ng mga Bayani was established in 1947 as final resting place to national heroes, national artists and scientists, and Philippine military and presidents. The decision yesterday was not only a disservice to the nation, but a deliberate push towards revision of historical facts: that Marcos is no hero and he and his family ruled a regime of violence. He was corrupt, a tyrant, and his ill-gotten worldwide wealth, estimated at least $10 billion, ran the Philippines to the ground.

“We urge President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his statement on allowing the former dictator to be given a hero’s burial,” said Executive Director Anna Leah Colina. “We also express our sincerest support to the various groups filing a motion for reconsideration to reverse the high court’s decision.”

The high court reasoned that Marcos is “not convicted” of any crimes, among others. Marcos was not convicted of any crimes because he left the country at a time when he was being pursued by the justice system and came back a corpse years later. The technical nature of the events should not diminish the nation’s collective memory that during Marcos’ regime, freedom was curtailed and those who resisted were tortured and killed.

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