OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON THE PROPOSED BURIAL OF FERDINAND MARCOS AT THE LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI
We, the members of the ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS IN THE PHILIPPINES, join the public outcry against the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The hallowed grounds of the Libingan ng mga Bayani, or Heroes’ Cemetery, are a resting place for heroes—as the name itself states. There repose soldiers who fought for the country, national heroes, patriots, Philippine presidents, and national artists and scientists.
The reason for having the Libingan ng mga Bayani is “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 generation still unborn” (R.A. 289, section 1).
We believe that this law prohibits the burial of Ferdinand Marcos in the said cemetery. Marcos is not a hero. While it is true that Marcos was a president of the country and a soldier at that, we have to look at his dictatorial regime and the manner and circumstances by which he was deposed. We say that a man who has denied the Philippines democracy for 14 years cannot be considered a hero. A man who has plundered the nation of her wealth, and consequently impoverished her people can never be considered a patriot. A man who is responsible for the violation of human rights and for the other atrocities committed during Martial Law, and to the end, shows no remorse for his actions can in no way be extolled for the inspiration and emulation of any generation.
Together thus, with the issue of the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani are other things that we cannot accept:
It is an attempt to revise history and picture the era of the Marcos dictatorship as a time of greatness, peace and plenty.
It is an attempt to deny the violation of the peoples’ rights.
It is an attempt to cover up the plunder of our national coffers.
We, the Religious and Consecrated Persons, cannot just stand by idly when the truth is distorted. In this case, history is revised merely to suit the ambitions of one family. It is thus morally untenable to bury Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. A quote from the Book of Job sums up our case: “Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.” (Job 34:12)
Given in Quezon City, at the OFM Provincial House on August 17, 2016.
Fr. Cielito Almazan, OFM & Sr. Regina Kuizon, RGS
Fr. Eduardo Apungan, CMF & Sr. Julie Saguibo, SFIC
Fr. Anthony Paul Bicomong, SDB Sr. Niceta Vargas, OSA
Br. Jose Mari Jimenez, FSC Sr. Marife Leslie Luna, LGC
Fr. Copernicus Perez Jr, CSsR Sr. Josephine Mata, FAS
Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ