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Marcos ‘Libingan’

HERE are some queries that may contextualize the highly emotional issue over the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ final resting place.

Would former President Erap Estrada be entitled to a plot in the pantheon of heroes, patriots, soldiers etc. in the ‘Libingan ng mga Bayani’? With pardon and all? Theoretically speaking, what about the “yellow proclaimed” heroine of EDSA – President Corazon Aquino? With Kamag-anak Incorporated, Mendiola Massacre, and her Administrations dose of “desaparecidos”? For academic purposes, the leading EDSA figures of Juan Ponce Enrile and Fidel Ramos.

Both personalities had leonine participation in the Martial Law Regime. Could military action as a “coup de etat” versus constituted government be successfully laundered as long as the revolt was victorious? The argument of popularity validates all government action even if it brutalizes an extant Constitution, such as the declaration of a ‘Freedom Constitution’?

If this is the measure, then what if a totalitarian government claiming the masses overthrows duly elected government? May such a government bury its compatriots as heroes of the revolution? And what of my idol Senator Gregorio Honasan? May he be allowed to benefit from a most coveted territory in the Libingan? Or will there be a howl from the very same colors incensed with his plots of adventurism after February 1986?

Inferences are as unreliable as impressions are faulty when emotion supercedes rule of law. Ferdinand Marcos was never “dishonorably discharged” by the AFP nor judged involving moral turpitude. Both are the grounds for disqualification under RA 289 governing burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. President Rodrigo Duterte is right in closing this chapter by letting history judge the legacy of the man, and uniting his people.

The writing is in the wall – read it. This is why a Bong-Bong Marcos was elected senator. And if results are true, almost won the Vice Presidency. The healing of the nation cannot be scarred over and over. Move forward.
(Erik Espina)

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