Statement of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto
Today,October 18 is the day the Philippines Supreme Court will decide where the late dictator who died almost four decades ago in the company of his family, while his victims remain missing or died a terrifying death and many languished in jails and inhuman prisons, is to be buried. Our President whose father spent some time in the Cabinet of the late dictator wants to bury his wax remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani as payback for his family’s good fotune during martial law because of this. Recently, Pres. Duterte announced that he will abide by the SC’s ruling on the issue.
We in SELDA, whose members majority of whom have spent years or weeks in Philippine prisons because of martial law, have time and again, announced our position that President Marcos is no hero and he must not be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We are fervently hoping as we pray that our esteemed judges in the Supreme Court will bear this in mind and not succumbed to the pressures applied by the vigil of the dictator’s daughter and his supporters called the Marcos loyalists. These rabid, rowdy crowd has physically attacked no less than our lawyers and we don’t like to make this discourse to be confusing and downright low that we refrained our forces to go to the Supreme Court and o a shouting match with the unruly crowd of the Marcos loyalists.
We hope that the SC justices remember that in 1986 the Filipino people have kicked out this family that plundered the country’s wealth, and plunged the country into a wastebasket of human rights violations and violations of people’s rights so much so that even its famous protector, the US government,has had to tell Marcos to ‘cut and cut cleanly’. The US government hurriedly whisked the dictator and his family out of the country and brought them to Hawaii. This is where the victims charged the dictator and his estate of “crimes against humanity To which the Federal District Court of Hawaii found the former dictator and strongman Marcos guilty of these crimes.We in SELDA, consider this a minor victory in punishing the dictator and fought hard to pass a law that will give reparation and recognition to the martial law victims who fought hard and were subjected to different kinds of torture and were sent to jails.
The law also seeks to teach the future generation what these martial law freedom fighters have done in our country’s history and correctly teach the youth about martial law years considered as the darkest period of our history. We trust that the justices of our Supreme Court will remember this fact even if no single centavo was received by the sick victims who are in their sunset years now. The families are still crying out for justice and the Marcos family had no remorse and does not even seek apology to the wrongs done to these families.
The Marcos family would like to seek the revision of history by burying the dictator’s remains in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The family members would like the Filipino people to remember the dictator as a benevolent leader whose siblings will one day take the reins of power. This was evident in the last elections where the son of the dictator run as a vice presidential candidate and when he lost, cried that he was cheated in the elections. We cannot permit such travesty of justice and that was why SELDA embarked on forming the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang or CARMMA.
We hope that the justices of our Supreme Court will remember these compelling reasons why dictator former President Ferdinand E. Marcos must not be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Up to now, the family has not returned the wealth they robbed from the country’s coffers.