Editor's note: This article is part of the Kami debate series on whether the late President Ferdinand Marcos should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This is the rebuttal of the affirmative side represented by Erick Aquino against the negative side's article Why a nation which fought a dictator should not bury Marcos in “Libingan ng mga Bayani”. Kami.com.ph does not necessarily share the views of the author.
The burial of the late President Marcos is not an issue on Martial Law victims. But if you would insist, then I’ll take toll on it. Yes, there were a lot of people who have died from Martial Law. There are a lot of victims of torture, sudden disappearances and so on and so forth. This is a written fact, and I concede on your claims. BUT, let’s go back to the main root of Martial Law. Why was it declared? Simple: There was complete chaos in the country plus there were assassination attempts to the first lady, Enrile, and even the president himself. The armed forces were immobilized and impotent. There was no income coming into the government. That is why he had his last resort: Martial Law.
Was it in any way unconstitutional? HE JUST APPLIED THE CONSTITUTION. It was strongly necessary. As a leader, you have to overlook and control certain things if there’s no peace and order anymore. Let me leave the Marcos’ critics this burden: If you are in his position that time, and people were against each other or so to speak even the government, how can you solve the problem as the President? Remember, Marcos aced the bar examinations twice. His knowledge of the law and constitution was par excellence.
Marcos is a hero; Aquino aided the NPA
Burying Marcos won't make him a hero, because he already is a hero. A war veteran who fought side by side with our guerrillas who thirst for freedom and a president that made the Philippines a better country. With his innate intelligence he made the lives of many Filipinos easier by providing a lot of infrastructure projects, which I mentioned in the opening remarks. The thing about being named hero is that not everyone will hail you as one; the thing about FEM, however, is that a lot of people still consider him a champion, and he truly is.
READ OPENING REMARKS: Why it is our responsibility to bury Ferdinand Marcos in “Libingan ng mga Bayani”
Talking again about the victims of Martial Law wouldn’t do you any good. If turpitude or morality is to be taken into account for one to be called a hero, then why do we consider Emilio Aguinaldo as a hero? It is also a historical fact that he ordered the execution of Andres Bonifacio, who was a famous leader. It is also a historical fact that he ordered the execution of Juan Luna, who has a great battle plan to win the war against conquerors. All of these, and still we consider him a hero. I also want to point out Benigno Aquino III who’s considered to be a hero despite helping the rise of NPA during the Marcos regime… Point is, a lot of people are still considering them heroes despite the activities linked to him.
It is not an attempt to forget, but rather a call for us to move on with the past issues. This is not to forget or revise what was written but to allow ourselves to heal from the past. In fact, this should be remembered and put to greater national discourse, but to destroy the whole family with issues from the past is very wrong. Forcing BBM to say sorry is very wrong. Whatever wrong deeds of any father cannot be passed to his son/daughter. It is not hereditary in nature. Decades have passed. Let the dead rest to where it truly belongs.
For my arguments:
1. Of the 47,228 remains interred at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, 32,268 were military personnel who died in the infamous “Death March” from Bataan to Capas, Tarlac during World War II. Marcos was there too. Again, this uplifts the earlier argument in the opening stance that he deserves to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani because has been a soldier and was alongside Filipino and American soldiers in the death march.
2. He may not be a Champion of human rights abuses but does it make him less a hero for fighting for our country? Does it diminish his achievements and lifetime service as a public servant? I believe not. His achievements and contributions stay the same even with a lot of bombarding issues. Issues don’t make his contributions less significant nor his burial make him a better man or escape from the ghosts of the past. We are just going to put him where he belongs and let the issue cease.
3. This issue has always been opposed by well-known schools. It is because of most historians and antimarcos law students that this burial is still an unending issue up to now. They are the ones who are followed/listened to most of time because they love to speak out, they love to express themselves. But, do they speak for the Filipino people as a whole? Their perspective is not everyone’s perspective. Just look at how many votes BBM got for VP position.. plus I have some friends who are not pro marcos but who are okay with the burial. It just shows that the burial issue has long been overdue. It’s time to move on. For me, some are just overreacting on this issue. Hear the common Filipino!
Look at how many Marcos supporters there are. We must listen to their side too, and not just the historians or the law students. They should not be the one to dictate us… besides, is this still an issue on their respective fields? I believe not. Let him be in the heroes’ cemetery.
He was a war veteran.
He was our former president.
He applied the constitution when it was necessary.
He had a lot of contributions to the country.
The house of congress already gave the go signal.
Issues don’t make his contributions less significant nor his burial make him a better man or escape from the ghosts of the past.
A lot of people are still considering him a hero.
Historians and law students don’t speak for the whole Filipino nation, much like from the People Power.
We are to bury the man, not to praise him.
Again, let those who are long dead rest for they cannot defend themselves. Let our sense of justice and humanity be bigger than our personal pains.
The affirmative side stands strong. For all of these, I have never been more proud to propose the notion that FEM truly deserves to be in the heroes’ cemetery!