CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 October 2018

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Scoundrel above ground but hero under the dirt

MANILA (UCAN): Former Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos, received a hero’s burial on November 18, digging deeper division in society.

The eight members of the senate who had voted against the controversial burial did not muster sufficient numbers to get a resolution filed by Risa Hontiveros on August 9 carried.

Hontiveros said that allowing a hero’s burial for Marcos would only cause further divisiveness and reopen wounds inflicted on the thousands of victims.

Human rights groups organised a noise barrage in Manila on November 17 in protest against the planned burial of Marcos in the ground of the heroes of the nation.

The Marcos family has pushed for a hero’s burial for the late president since his death, citing his accomplishments as a former soldier and president.

But human rights groups and victims of rights abuses lodged at least seven petitions with the Supreme Court opposing the burial.

On November 8, the court cleared all legal obstacles to the Marcos burial, 27 years after he died in Hawaii in the United States of America.

Bishop Rodrick Pabillo said in a statement on November 11, “The Supreme Court decision appears to have been anchored only on the legal provisions of the Philippine constitution, but with apparent complete disregard for moral issues that go along with it.”

The auxiliary bishop of Manila added, “Marcos may have been a president, but he ended up a dictator; he may have been a soldier, but his grave abuse of power and systemic violence undermines his well-flaunted valour.”

He called the decision of the court barefaced disrespect for the victims of one of the darkest moments in the history of the Philippine people and the country.

He then described placing the body of Marcos anywhere near the nation’s heroes who fought for freedom as a great insult, as well as demeaning to the thousands of victims of atrocities committed during his bloody regime.

“Burying him at the Heroes Cemetery is a mocking act that will send a strong distorted message to our young people that in this country, dictators, plunderers and executioners are being rewarded,” Bishop Pabillo stressed.

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