Open Letter to VP Binay on the Marcos Hero Burial Issue

Here is Akbayan Party’s open letter to Vice President Jejomar Binay concerning the consultations his office is conducting with regards to the controversial Marcos hero burial issue. The letter registered Akbayan’s clear stand on the issue while addressing the Vice President’s recent statement that his office was “snubbed” by all the 130 COMELEC-registered political parties, which they tried to solicit opinion on the issue.

May 25, 2011

Office of the Vice President
Republic of the Philippines
7th Floor, PNB Financial Center, President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City

Dear Mr. Vice President,

Warm greetings!

We, in Akbayan Party wish to inform you of our deepest concern regarding the consultations you are conducting to aid you in deciding over the proposed plan to bury the remains of Ferdinand Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We believe any consultation to decide the matter is already too late primarily because the Filipinos in overthrowing the Marcos regime already decided such a matter. The groundswell of popular dissent manifested during the first people power uprising should have served to nail shut any chances of Marcos being written in history as a hero, but with the clamor from some congressmen to give the late dictator honors which we feel are not deserved, the issue has become more than a simple burial and has now become an attempt to revise and rewrite history.

Mr. Vice President, you also came out publicly in stating that this consultation process involves raising the issue with all the COMELEC-registered political parties asking their respective opinion on the matter. We have not received any letter from the Office of the Vice President asking us about our position. Nevertheless, we would like to register that we are vehemently opposing any posthumous recognition of Marcos’s alleged heroism because there is no heroism to speak of. A burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is an affront to those who suffered and died under his regime.

Mr. Vice President, we can only imagine the burden you are carrying concerning this issue. Being a former human rights lawyer and an opponent of the Marcos regime, such personal history may be deemed by some as an issue to be surmounted in order to make an objective decision on the matter. However, we feel that such a background should instead serve as your moral compass to decide firmly on the issue and end any talks of “consultations”. We believe any consultation is premised on the uncertainty of the matter. However, it is already certain that Marcos imprisoned and killed thousands of Filipinos who fought his tyrannical regime, corrupted the military by giving it wide latitude to commit excesses and looted the nation’s coffers. Those are not under contention. Those are facts.

To be clear, we are not against the burial of Marcos. We are against his burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We are against a hero burial for an unrepentant dictator. No one should be deprived of the right to be buried in his own country, and no one is depriving Marcos of such a right. But to revise history by repackaging a brutal dictator into a hero is a transgression against an entire generation who fought for the same freedom and democracy that we enjoy today.

His family could always lay his remains to rest in his hometown or somewhere where it will not offend us as a nation and as a people. Not only would that be more appropriate, it would also spare the families of the victims of his regime further anguish and pain.

We hope you are one with us in this issue.

Yours truly,

Acting President
Akbayan Party