MANILA (UCAN): The Running Priest was back on the streets of Manila on July 17 calling on the newly-elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, to renege on his plan to allow the martial law dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, to be interred in the nation’s Heroes Cemetery.
Franciscan Father Robert Reyes said Filipinos should rise up, come out and not be afraid to stand for the truth and oppose the plan.
“A dictator is not a hero and should not be given the honour of lying at rest with heroes,” Father Reyes stressed.
The body of the late dictator, who died in exile in the United States of America in 1989, is currently preserved in a glass coffin at a mausoleum in his home province of Ilocos Norte.
Duterte, who is buddy buddy with the son of the late dictator, Bongbong Marcos, said earlier that his father should be interred at the cemetery, because the issue has long divided the country.
“I will allow the burial… not because he is a hero, but because he was a Filipino soldier,” Duterte said even before he won the vote in May.
Marcos, who stayed in Malacañang for 14 years, died three years after a popular revolt backed by international interests ousted him from power in 1986.
Since his death, the Marcos family has pushed for a hero’s burial, citing his accomplishments as a former soldier and president.
However, Father Reyes pointed out that Duterte is just twisting history to entertain his powerful friends, the Marcos family.
“President Duterte, you should respect history, you cannot manipulate history. The worst thing that ever happened to The Philippines is Marcos,” Father Reyes said.
He urged Duterte not to commit the crime of deceiving the people and accepting the lies of his cronies.
Father Reyes described burying Marcos in the Heroes Cemetery as an insult to the thousands of victims of martial law whose families continue to seek justice from the wealthy Marcos power bloc.
Families and friends of martial law victims piled stones inscribed with the names of their loved ones who perished under martial law on the proposed burial site for the late president.