Last Nov. 8, the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani—a ruling which culminated in a sudden and discreet ceremony last Nov. 18.
Since then, various protests have sprung from different parts of the country declaring that Marcos is no hero and is not deserving of a burial recognizing him as one. Of equal volume to these protests, however, are cries of fervor and foul from those who support Marcos and Martial Law.
Individuals in defense of the late president’s regime expressed their support through posts detailing various achievements of Marcos’ rule and past issues left unresolved from the Aquino administration. Some tried to quell discussions with threats and verbal violence. They also implored the public to respect their opinion and right to freedom of speech, and encouraged the nation to heal and “move on.”
However, these statements are difficult to digest. Marcos’ achievements were expected as an obligation for someone in his position for a long period of time. Cries of “dilawan” only perpetuate false dichotomies. Moreover, how can people see fit the argument on freedom of speech if Martial Law stripped such right from the people? How can these opinions be respected if they revise and glorify a period wherein opinions were met with torture, rape, or death?
The Weekly Sillimanian strongly suggests that Marcos supporters review their arguments and reconsider their views. It is a deep and scathing act of mockery to those who were stripped of their humanity during Martial Law, and an unforgivable insult to the real heroes who fought for democracy and freedom.
We as Filipinos have the power to build up a nation of unity and hope—but such cannot be achieved if we continuously yearn for darkness. Martial Law wasn’t a golden age, and Marcos was never a hero. Nothing can justify otherwise.