Dis­hon­or­ing our na­tion, our he­roes

The Jakarta Post - - OPINION -

On Mon­day, while the rest of the na­tion ig­nored or mourned the 100th birth­day of Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, the dic­ta­tor’s fam­ily hosted a cel­e­bra­tion at the He­roes’ Ceme­tery. Imelda Mar­cos and her fam­ily in­vited the diplo­matic corps as well as high gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, even in­clud­ing mem­bers of the op­po­si­tion, to the cer­e­mony.

The Mar­coses are not putting clo­sure to the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing both dic­ta­tor and dic­ta­tor­ship, but rather open­ing a new, re­vised chap­ter in the coun­try’s his­tory.

That the Mar­coses could even at­tempt this white­wash­ing — in a ceme­tery des­ig­nated a “na­tional shrine,” body­guarded by the same Army that Mar­cos turned into a weapon against his own peo­ple, un­der the le­gal aegis of a Supreme Court de­ci­sion — gives the lie to the ra­tio­nal­iza­tion of that un­for­tu­nate rul­ing.

The Court ruled that the Libin­gan ng Mga Bayani was not the na­tional he­roes’ ceme­tery. The Mar­coses and their sup­port­ers lost no time in treat­ing the Libin­gan the way or­di­nary Filipinos see it, as the fi­nal rest­ing place for he­roes.

And that is why we had that sorry spec­ta­cle on Mon­day: hon­ors paid at the na­tional he­roes’ ceme­tery, for a man whose ca­reer dis­hon­ored both na­tion and its true he­roes.

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