The Samahan ng Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, an organization of former political prisoners established under the Marcos dictatorship, today disputed Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile’s claims that former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos “fought a war for the country when he was a young man” and thus he should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani for his contributions as a soldier.
Marie Hilao Enriquez, Chairperson of SELDA and daughter of one of the original named plaintiffs in the historic class suit against Marcos, said the war fought by Marcos known and acknowledged by the Filipino people is “his dirty war against the Filipino people during Martial Law.”
“We will never forget the horrors that the Filipino people endured during the Martial Law era: numerous human rights violations including summary executions, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrests and detention, violation of civil and political rights, hamletting and forced evacuation, among others,” Hilao-Enriquez said.
“Marcos, his family and his cronies bled the nation’s coffers dry, while majority of the Filipino people live under impoverished conditions. The millions of ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies are evident in the recent Campos settlement agreement and the reported share of Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco in San Miguel Corporation,” she emphasized.
Military historian Alfred McCoy cited 3,257 extrajudicial killings, 35,000 torture victims, and 70,000 incarcerated during the Marcos period. Human rights groups’ records show 759 victims involuntary disappearances and an estimated 120,000 victims of arbitrary arrest and detention.
McCoy also discovered various records of the US Army and the US Veteran’s Administration calling Marcos’ claims of heading a guerilla resistance unit during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines as “fraudulent, absurd, distorted, exaggerated and contradictory.”
“A fascist dictator is never a hero especially to the thousands of victims of human rights violations under the Marcos regime. He practically killed a generation of statesmen/stateswomen because those who gave up their lives during Martial Law were the country’s best and brightest youth who would have taken the reins of governance. People Power I is a testament to the Filipino people’s rejection of this fallacy. We will continue to oppose proposals for Marcos’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” she further asserted.