Can one outweigh the other?
Yesterday was a historic event for the Filipino people. A day where again the people are divided in opinions and biases, and where a question that has long haunted the nation has been resolved – with finality by the highest Court in the land.
The Supreme Court voted 9-5 (with 1 inhibiting) to allow the burial of Former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.
All hearts rage, albeit differently. For some triumph, for others fury.
I for one am among those who rage in fury. I am among those who mourn for the victims of that dark time. I am among those who grieve for whom justice has been withheld.
In this recent pronouncement, I could not help but wonder if this will perhaps present a dilemma as it may look that there is but contradicting stand points in the 2 branches of the government.
There is a law RA 10368 (An Act Providing for the Reparation and Recognition of Human Rights Violations during the Marcos Regime) that has been passed by the Senate and signed in 2013 by President Aquino which is explicit in saying that it recognizes the gross human violations committed during the Marcos regime.
Yet, the Court has seemingly decided to take little note of the existence and intent of this law in coming up with their votes to allow the said burial.
I am thus tempted to ask:
To recognize the violations committed during Marcos’ time and at the same time declare him a hero, does these two not clash? Can they really go together hand in hand? Are they not water and oil? How does one come up categorically labeling him a hero?
Is the law then not fully thought of when it was passed? Or should we soon expect petitions for declaring the said law unconstitutional? Does this recent pronouncement not impair or affect the integrity of the intent of the law?
Is it not a funny predicament that while on one hand the government is indemnifying the victims, the other is shaking the hands of the family of the perpetrator of the crimes against the former?
Is the Court even in the right position to declare Marcos as violator or hero?
As I was browsing social media, I saw one post where it goes to say that he attributes his knowledge of Martial Law to the word ‘Desaparecidos.’
I couldn’t agree more. I knew that word as soon as I started to know my way around Manila.
Sadly, like the desaparecidos of that dark era, is the disappearance of the veracity of the existence of martial law. With a snap of a finger, it can also Disappear just like that.
Sadly too, while we are already mourning for those men and women who were never found, we shall mourn them again because they have been ‘desaparecidos’ once more when the Court did not consider the violence and horrors of that dark regime and just ended it all through a burial that does not really come with it anymore the true meaning of the word honor and hero. That honor would probably have even be saved if only the family has the gut to confess and ask for apologies. Yet, up until this day, there is none.
Hanggang ngayon, Walang Pag-Amin.
They say: Time ‘heals’ all wounds – if you could just wait, if you just have the patience to wait. Time can make people remember forever, but time can also make people forget. Time can make blurry the memories of those victims… Time can also erase the sins of the past.
He may be buried at Heroes’ cemetery, but to me, no honor is bestowed on that grave but mere formalities. He may be a hero – by law, by paper, by strict interpretation of rules, but he’ll never be a hero by morals, by heart and by conscience.
*pic credit to RAPPLER