Surprise burial of Marcos triggers widespread anger
The surprise burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on Friday triggered widespread condemnation from critics of the man responsible for atrocities during Martial Law.
The critics were led by Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, who condemned the burial of the former dictator which she described as a thief, murderer, and dictator.
"Like a thief in the night, the Marcos family deliberately hid the information of burying former President Marcos today from the Filipino people," Robredo said in a statement.
"We are disturbed that this happened in coordination with AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines and PNP (Philippine National Police) demonstrating further that the judicial process has been thoroughly disregarded," she said.
Robredo defeated former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr during the May national elections.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, said :”This is a sad day. Today a thief has been buried at the national heroes cemetery.”
Barry Gutierrez, a lawyer for one of the petitioners stopping Marcos’ burial before the Supreme Court, said in a TV interview he was surprised at the decision because the SC decision was not final and executory.
Protesters massed at the People Power Monument in Quezon City. They were led by veterans of the 1986 Edsa Revolution which forced Marcos, his family and associates to flee the country.
Ruperto Aleroza, a vice chairperson of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, joined the protesters. “I am a victim of Marcos’ economic torture as I remained poor so this burial is painful,” he told the Daily Manila Shimbun. Around 500 persons were at the monument, said Chief Inspector Tito Jay Cuden, spokesperson of the Quezon City Police District.
Journalists were kept in the dark about the interment. It leaked when reporters received tips from sources about the presence of soldiers at the Heroes Cemetery.
About an hour before the burial at 12 noon, Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, National Capital Region Police Office confirmed in several interviews over radio that Marcos was going to be buried. A police official sent a text advisory on the impending interment of Marcos.
Albayalde claimed they were only informed about the impending burial around 5 pm Thursday.
"It went smoothly. The ceremony was very private," Albayalde said in an interview over dzBB radio.
The ceremony started about 11:20 am when the chopper carrying Marcos' remains landed at the cemetery. It lasted for about an hour, according to the police official.
Loretta Ann Rosales, former Commission on Human Rights chairperson and victim during the Martial Law, warned of repercussions.
"The irregularity of what is happening will have a backlash on the Marcos family," she said in an interview over ANC.
Bagyong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes called on the public to join indignation rallies against Marcos' burial.
"Let this day be marked not by the rejoicing of the heirs of the dictator, but by the cries of outrage by the Marcos victims and the people who refuse to forget the judgment of history," he said in a text message.
Militants called on the public to join a protest in front of the People Power Monument in Quezon City around 3 pm.
The League of Filipino Students slammed the burial of a "fascist" dictator which they said was a historical crime to the Filipino people.
"Giving Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial is like ridding him of his bloody record of fascist violence, human rights violations, corruption, puppetry from imperialist US, and economic hardships that was endured by the Filipino people through 14 years of dictatorship,” LFS spokesperson JP Rosos said in a statement. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS.