MANILA, Philippines ―A group of clergy from the Visayan region has categorically rejected a hero’s burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
The Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG), consisting of bishops and clergy in the Visayas said a hero’s burial for the late dictator is totally out of the question given his atrocious human rights records.
The VCDG statement on April 28 came as a response to a question raised earlier by Philippine Vice-president Jejomar Binay asking the group’s stand on the issue of allowing Marcos to be buried at the “Libingan ng mga Bayani”.
VCDG head convenor and Jaro Auxiliary Bishop Gerardo Alminaza pointed out that thousands were illegally detained, tortured, executed and disappeared during the dark days of Martial Law.
“Several of our clergy, religious and lay leaders were summarily detained just before Marcos’ new 1973 Constitution was to be ratified in the so-called “Citizens’ Assemblies.” The new Constitution was another ploy of Marcos to extend his presidential powers under Martial Law. So, anybody who was a potential organizer of opposition to the ratification of the new Constitution was detained, without warrant of arrest, or any specific crime,” Alminaza said.
“Some of the victims were known personally to us, e.g. Fr. Rudy Romano of the Redemptorist Missionaries, Fr. Ed Kangleon of Leyte, Cebu student Levi Ybañez, labor leader Jimmy Badayos, catechists, seminarians, farmers, fisher folk, urban poor, etc.,” he added.
Alminaza said lawyer Oliver Lozano and the Marcos family have insulted the intelligence of Filipino people by claiming that Marcos was not guilty of human rights violations that happened during his regime.
“This lack of remorse is appalling,” the bishop said.
He went on to say that the 216 Representatives in Congress who agreed to give Marcos a hero’s burial do not speak for the people.
“We can forgive Marcos. But he has to serve in full the sentence for his crime—he cannot ever be buried in the ‘Libingan ng mga Bayani.’ Even a forgiven criminal remains a criminal and cannot be considered a hero,” Alminaza furthered. (CBCPNews)