- The Philippine Debate Union (PDU) has denounced the proposed burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) on Saturday August 20
- According to PDU, Marcos is not qualified to be buried a hero and the proposal will be an injustice to the victims of Martial law
- PDU is composed of college debaters from all over the country
"Ferdinand Marcos did not live the life of a hero, and he does not deserve to be buried as one."
The Philippine Debate Union (PDU) has denounced the proposed burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) saying that Marcos is not deserving of a hero's burial.
"The Philippine Debate Union (PDU) opposes and condemns the planned burial of Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in the strongest possible terms." PDU said.
"As the debate community, we envision a society that fosters critical thinking and discourse – one that is built on intellectual honesty, on eternally seeking out justice, and on standing against any form of oppression," PDU said.
According to PDU, burying the late dictator is morally reprehensible and is an injustice tothe thousands of victims of Martial Law.
"The burial forces upon them a message saying that they should "move on" when there was never an admission of a wrong, an apology, or just compensation. The stories of these victims matter; their pain should not be forgotten."
PDU also said that while Marcos may have been both a soldier and a president, these these alone cannot be enough justification to be buried a hero. "Burial at the Libingan is denied to soldiers dismissed for offenses involving moral turpitude, of which Marcos is certainly guilty."
Citing the data from Amnesty International, the PDU said that during Martial law 70,000 individuals were incarcerated. 34,000 were tortured, 3,240 were killed, and at least 398 desaparecidos were never recovered and laid to rest. As of May 2015, the total number of claimants of reparation under the RA 10368 has already reached 75,730.
According to PDU, Marcos is considered one of the most corrupt leaders in the world. "His presidency eroded our political institutions and cemented a legacy of impunity in politics, leaving us a debt we have to repay until 2025."
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The organization composed of college debaters in the country also echoed National Historical Commission of the Philippines questioning Marcos' achievements as a soldier.
"In no way will his burial bring unity to our country. The families of the dead will continue to mourn for their lost father, mother, brother, or sister. The Marcos family continues to benefit from the wrongdoings of its late patriarch by deflecting any responsibility." PDU said.
"The call to "move on" limits the public imagination, excluding any narrative that can be described as truly unifying for there can be no unity without justice," according to PDU.
The PDU also asked President Rodrigo Duterte to discontinue his plan to give the former dictator the honor of a hero's burial.
Meanwhile, in an exclusive Kami.com.ph interview with Miko Alazas, PDU's Adjudication Officer, he said that while many people expressed their support of the Philippine debate community's initiative, there are those who are unhappy and disappointed.
"There have been people calling us kultong dilaw, and all those other typical names," according to Alazas who is also a recipient of various awards in the debate circuit.
When asked about PDU's goal in releasing the statement, Alazas said that there were indications that the community shares the same sentiment across the board.
"Through the statement, we wanted to show that the community could come together as a single voice. We wanted our statement to be picked up by the media, because debate societies are quite influential in different areas" he added.
The statement was released Saturday, August 20 and was signed by leaders and representatives of various debate organizations in the country. -Kami Media