By Hannah Torregoza
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday reminisced the way the Duterte administration consented to the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani with full military honors, to the utter disappointment of human rights victims during his 21-year rule that was marked with much atrocity.
De Lima, in recalling the second year anniversary of Marcos’ burial, urged Filipino to never forget the “traitorous scheme” employed by the present regime and learn from the lesson of history.
“Dalawang taon na po ang nakaraan nang ginimbal tayo ng balitang inilibing na ang mga labi ng diktador na si Ferdinand Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Ito nga po ay napakalaking insulto sa dangal at alaala ng mga tunay na mga bayaning nahihimlay sa sagradong lugar na iyon (It’s been two years since we were shocked by the news that the remains of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos was interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This was a really great insult in the dignity and memory of the real heroes who lie in that sacred place),” De Lima said in her latest dispatch.
“Ito ay napakalaking insulto sa lahat ng mga biktima ng karahasan, pagpatay, torture at pang-aabuso sa ilalim ng Batas Militar ni Marcos. Ang patraydor na paglilibing na ito ay isa ring malinaw na pagtatangka na ibaon sa hukay ang tunay na kasaysayan—ang katiwalian at ang kawalang katarungang namayagpag sa diktadurya (This is a real big insult to all the victims of violence, killing, torture and abuse under the martial rule of Marcos. The traitorous way of burying him there is a clear attempt to bury and forget what really happened in the past—the corruption and injustices that prevailed during the dictatorship,” said the senator.
But while this was the case, de Lima said it cannot be denied that the truth will prevail, as this is what happened in the case of former first lady Imelda Marcos.
The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division earlier ruled she is guilty of seven counts of graft involving US$200-million, the case stemming from her creation of seven private foundations in Switzerland into which the funds were funneled.
Mrs. Marcos, however, was allowed to post a P150,000 bail by the court while appealing her prison sentence of 42 to 77 years.
“Pero pilit man nilang itago ang kanilang mga kabuktutan, sa huli, lalabas at lalabas ang katotohanan (Even though they try hard to hide this travesty, in the end, the truth will come out and prevail),” said de Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center over drug charges.
“Mabagal man ang naging pag-usad ng katarungan, hindi pa rin naging huli ang lahat. Dahil malinaw na pahayag ito sa buong mundo: Hindi bayani si Marcos. Nagnakaw ang mga Marcos (Even if the pace of justice was slow, it wasn’t too late. Because it was clear to the whole world: Marcos was no hero. The Marcoses stole public funds),” she said.
“Napakalaki ng pagkakaiba ng mga bayaning nag-alay ng buhay at nagmalasakit sa bayan, sa diktador na nag-udyok ng mga pagpatay, at nagdulot ng pasakit at kalunos-lunos na pagdurusa sa napakaraming Pilipino (There is a huge difference between heroes who laid their life for the nation, to a dictator who encouraged killings and unleashed the sufferings of many Filipinos),” added the senator.
The strongman died in 1989 while in exile, but his heirs later returned to Manila and have since returned in the political arena.
Ilocos Gov. Imee Marcos is now gunning for a Senate seat, while former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is still contesting his narrow defeat to Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2016 vice presidential race.
De Lima, at the same time, criticized the 89-year old’s provisional freedom.
“Makapagpiyansa man si Imelda Marcos, at makaisip ng napakaraming dahilan para hindi makulong, dapat ituwid ang sistemang pangkatarungan na nananatiling hindi patas sa mahihirap at kumikiling sa mga makapangyarihan (Even if Imelda Marcos is able to post bail and come up with so many reasons to evade arrest, we should attempt to fix our justice system which until now remains unfair to the poor and are only inclined to the powerful),” she said.
“Hindi makatwiran na ang mga inosente ay nasa piitan, habang ang nahatulang guilty ay nagagawa pang makipag-party (It’s unfair that the innocent are inside the jail, while those who were declared guilty have the guts to go to party),” De Lima lamented.