August 9, 2016
QUEZON CITY – The Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), an organization of former political prisoners and initiator of the historic Hawaii class action suit against the Marcoses, expresses outrage on the decision of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to bury the remains of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
SELDA calls on Pres. Duterte to reconsider his decision. Burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is an affront to the Filipino nation, especially the millions who fought and the countless who died and disappeared fighting Marcos tyrannical rule.
The move, if pursued, constitutes another act of gross injustice to the nation and tens of thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and detention, torture and harassment perpetrated by the Marcos fascist regime.
Not a single martial law victim has ever received any reparation, in line with the three-year implementation of the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 (Republic Act 10368). Instead of rendering a component of justice through indemnification, a hero’s burial for Marcos will dishonor the victims by kowtowing to the whims and caprices of the Marcos family to bury a murderer and plunderer with honors.
The Marcoses and their ilk, who escaped from the country with the aid of the United States, are now partly back in power using portions of the $10 billion they plundered from the nation’s coffers and their political connections with the ruling elite.
Despot Marcos, a murderer and a plunderer, is not a hero, and it is the height of historical revisionism to give him full national honors as a hero. History has already rendered verdict to Marcos, when millions of Filipinos rose to overthrow his tyrannical regime. What lessons do we teach our children by treating Marcos a hero? That it is correct and even heroic to steal, murder, and torture? No. Evil must be repudiated. Injustice must end.
SELDA calls for the most expedient efforts to indemnify the thousands of victims of Marcos’ martial law, which is an actual substantial step towards justice for the martial law victims and their families.
Most importantly, we call on the people here and abroad to speak and stand for justice and press Pres. Duterte to reconsider his assailed decision and instead give justice to the victims of Marcos abusive rule.