We Oppose the Burial of the Remains of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
In our Covenant on Philippine Development, we in the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO) vowed to protect and promote fundamental freedoms and human rights as enshrined in the Philippine Constitution and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. We also vowed to work for transparency, accountability and meaningful people’s participation in governance and for equitable access to resources. We further declared our commitment to the growth of an informed citizenry involved in national and local issues and committed to democratic reform and addressing the problems of injustice, poverty and marginalization. This is our covenant, crafted 25 years ago but which we honor even now. It is a covenant borne from our founders’ painful experience during the dark years of the Marcos dictatorship.
Photo credits: The Philippine Star, Aug. 15, 2016; Sixdon C. Macasaet, Aug. 14, 2016
The plan to bury the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) goes against the core of our values. Republic Act No. 289, which governs the Libingan ng mga Bayani, provides that it is meant “to perpetuate the memory of all the Presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots for the inspiration and emulation of this generation and of generations still unborn” (emphasis supplied). Burying his remains at the LNMB would mean the successful re-writing of history by the Marcos family and supporters, who would wish Filipinos to forget the Marcos dictatorship’s legacy of numerous human right violations, grand scale corruption, economic disruption and widespread poverty, and instead to remember him as a hero. We cannot be a party to this.
We oppose the burial of the remains of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani!
Caucus of Development NGO Networks
25th General Assembly
GA Resolution No. 25 – 08
Sponsoring MNs: Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE), Central Visayas Network of NGOs (CENVISNET), and Eastern Visayas Network of NGOs and POs (EVNET)
Resolution Strongly Condemning the Burial of the Remains of Former President Ferdinand Marcos
in the “Libingan ng mga Bayani”
WHEREAS, CODE-NGO, adheres to and promotes the tenets of freedom and human rights, and recognizes the curtailment of fundamental freedoms and rights brought about by the administration of the President turned Dictator Ferdinand Marcos;
WHEREAS, the Libingan ng Mga Bayani or Heroes’ Cemetery is a National Cemetery for decorated war veterans, distinguished Filipinos, and past Presidents who dutifully served their country; to cite, the Public Act No. 289, which governs the Libingan ng mga Bayani, provides that it is meant “to perpetuate the memory of all the Presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots for the inspiration and emulation of this generation and of generations still unborn”;
WHEREAS, last November 8, 2016, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that the burial of the remains of Former President Ferdinand Marcos is not prohibited under existing laws with nine SC Justices approving the decision, thereby giving the current President of the Republic of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte the prerogative of allowing the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani;
WHEREAS, the Marcos family hurriedly held the burial ceremonies at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18, 2016 in secrecy. The burial was held notwithstanding the fact that the Supreme Court decision had not yet become final and executory as the 15-day period for filing a motion for reconsideration by any of the parties had not yet prescribed;
WHEREAS, the recent Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) goes against the core of our values. It is an attempt to re-write history by the Marcos family and supporters, who would wish Filipinos to forget the Marcos dictatorship’s legacy of numerous human rights violations, grand scale corruption, economic disruption and widespread poverty, and instead to remember him as a hero.
WHEREAS, the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani have fomented anger and anguish among thousands of victims of Martial Law and the Filipino public who believe that the authoritarian and corrupt reign of President Marcos disqualify him as a hero and that he does not deserve to be buried in the heroes’ cemetery;
WHEREAS, public sentiment on the issue is influenced by fake, unfactual and distorted information glorifying the Martial Law years which are widely disseminated through social media;
NOW, THEREFORE, the CODE-NGO General Assembly resolves to condemn the burial of Former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The CODE-NGO General Assembly expresses Philippine civil society organizations’ disappointment over the decision of the Supreme Court and the consent of President Duterte on the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes’ cemetery.
The CODE-NGO General Assembly further resolves to initiate and support civic actions against the rewriting of Philippine history, particularly of the Martial Law years. The GA calls on both Houses of Congress and the Department of Education to ensure the inclusion of truthful, honest and real accounts of Martial Law era in the curriculums and textbooks. Martial Law should be included among the topics covered in Civil Service Examinations.
Resolved further to partner with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to set records straight on Marcos’ regime and come up with a compilation of stories on the social, economic and political ramifications and effects of Martial Law. The GA would also like to inquire on the status of the establishment of the Martial Law museum by the EDSA People Power Commission which will allow visitors to experience critical moments in history, such as the fear and oppression wrought by Martial Law and the struggle to reclaim democracy.
Resolved further for the CODE-NGO Member Networks to continue to raise awareness and disseminate information on Martial Law and the Marcos regime to promote truth, justice and democracy in the country in order to prevent another dictatorial regimes.
Approved this 25th day of November, 2016 at Sequoia Hotel, Quezon City, Philippines.