A Philippine Human Rights NGO providing Psychosocial Services and Rehabilitation to Internally Displaced Persons and Survivors of Torture and Organized Violence.

Statement: SC Decision on Marcos Burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani

Nov. 8, 2016 – Balay expressed its disappointed on the decision of the Supreme Court earlier today allowing the burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LnmB). The Supreme Court’s decision favored the burial of Marcos gaining 9 votes over 5.

Balay has been opposing the burial of the dictator in LnmB because it will defeat the essence of the national shrine established to honor those whom the nation holds in esteem and reverence. The decision desecrated the dignity of the masses who have suffered enough from the yoke of the then dictatorship. We agree with the petitioners’ contention that “burying Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery critically weakens the recognition of his crimes institutionalized in our Constitution, laws, and jurisprudence.”

The decision to bury Marcos in the LnmB is like rubbing chili to injury. Thousands suffered from human rights violations during the Martial Law. Many of them were tortured, raped, killed and involuntarily disappeared. It will not bring about healing as it is not based on the acknowledgment of the mass atrocities committed by the Marcos regime; it does not give justice to the victims and tends to sweep under the rug that dark period in Philippine history.  Families of the late dictator consistently refuse to concede and apologize for the atrocities, plunder, and suffering of the Filipino people during Martial Law. Instead of an apology and remorse, the Marcos’s were trying to change history.

The Marcos burial in the LnmB opened the unhealed wounds of the nation. The highest court in the Philippines ought to bring justice did not only fail the victims of martial law but made the justice system questionable. Neither technicalities nor money can erase the history of brutal experiences and suffering. Marcos’ crimes will never be forgotten.