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With the electoral win of President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte, the possibility of a

Ferdinand Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMB) can be a

reality. My stand on this issue is- No, Duterte should not allow the Burial of the
late president and dictator based on legal and moral grounds. I will argue that
even if Duterte will allow him to be buried as a soldier, not a hero, Marcos
should still not be buried in LMB.
Republic Act 289, entitled, An Act Providing for the Construction of a National
Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes and Patriots of the
Country is the law governing the privilege of burial in the LMB. It states that,
To perpetuate the memory of all the presidents of the Philippines, national
heroes and patriots for the inspiration and emulation of this generation and of
generations still unborn, there shall be constructed a National Pantheon which
shall be the burial place of their mortal remains.
More than just a burial ground for the presidents, national heroes and patriots,
the LMB was built as symbolic ground to commemorate people who took part
in the history of the nation, and contributed to nationhood. The
commemoration of these heroes is aimed to inspire future generations and to
serve as role models of youth and the unborn.
Given this premise, is the burial of Ferdinand Marcos justifiable as a means to
inspire and emulate future generations, and is the life of Ferdinand Marcos,
regardless of him being a president or a soldier, something that should be
given the title of being a hero? The answer is no.
Firstly, Martial Law remains to be one of the darkest periods of recent
history, with 70,000 people imprisoned, 34,000 tortured and 3,240 killed, as
per Amnesty International report. Many lives were lost, basic freedoms were
suspended, and democracy was at its lowest point. Martial Law victims are
classified as heroes under Republic Act no. 10368, which states that,
"it is hereby declared the policy of the State to recognize the heroism and
sacrifices of all Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture,
enforced or involuntary disappearance and other gross human rights

violations committed during the regime of former President Ferdinand E.

Marcos covering the period from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986"
The burial of Ferdinand Marcos would therefore be an insult to the
heroes of Martial Law, which in fact, are already recognized by the law as
heroes more than just victims, and is already trying to compensate their
families for the loss of their family members during the regime.
The likes of Judy Taguiwalo, who was raped, detained while pregnant, and
subjected to different torture devices will be forgotten. The Dictator who
allowed the torture, killings, and disappearances of Jose Lacaba, Carlos
Centenera, Natham and Susan Quimpo, and other victims shall be vindicated
because of this burial.
The burial would make Ferdinand Marcos a hero despite the political
abuses that he committed during his regime. Making the oppressor of the
heroes of Martial Law a hero as well is a contradiction that we cannot afford to
propagate to the next generations.
Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos once said in an interview, Let us leave history
to the professors, to those who study the history of the Philippines. It is not our
job. Our job is to look at what the people need at present. Bongbongs
statement is an attempt to forget, and to revise the realities of the past. History
is not only confined within the realm of the professor, of the student, and of the
historian. History determines our collective identity as a people and as a
nation. Burying Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani would not be
representative of our collective identity as a nation- because we are a nation
which fought a dictator, and a nation who learns from our past.
This debate has to be assessed in totality, and in a nuanced perspective.
Negative side acknowledges that Ferdinand Marcos, indeed, was an
exceptional Ilocano, a bar topnotcher despite his detention, and a man who
spoke to the public without any manuscripts. These, however, unfortunately,
are not the valid standards that will automatically give him the privilege to be
buried in the commemorative grounds of heroes who fought for the nation and
its people: the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

The issue on Marcos burial should go beyond the issue of legality, its also an
issue of propriety. Is it proper then, to put a dictator who caused the killing,
torture, disappearance and detention of almost a hundred thousand of
activists struggling for social change; who put the Philippines into a huge debt,
just because he built infrastructure projects? More than just the rhetoric that
he deserves it because he was a solider or a president, it should be noted
the LMB is a commemorative and symbolic ground of heroism, and heroism
doesnt mean being a plunderer, and a dictator who will instantly kill political
While its an issue of propriety I will still rebut the legal argument that my
opponent launched. Marcos involvement in the Guerrilla warfare during the
World War II is still a myth that it yet to be proven. While I concede that
Marcos built different infrastructure projects during his regime, it should not be
taken into a vacuum. It should be weighed with Marcos human rights
violations, plunder cases and political abuses during the Martial Law regime.
Lastly, I would argue that Marcos burial would further become a divisive tactic,
and will not end historical judgment to the late dictator.
On Marcos being a guerilla fighter
In an article written in 1986, archived in the New York Times website entitled,
Marcoss Wartime Role Discredited in US Files, reports say that the US Army
concluded that Marcoss leadership in a guerilla resistance unit was
fraudulent and absurd. In the archives of the Army, there was evidence
proving that he led the guerilla group named Maharlika in 1942-1944 during
the Japanese Occupation. The US Government, in 1986 had the attempt to let
Marcos speak about these findings (or the lack thereof) about his claims on
his involvement during the Guerilla Warfare, but he declined to respond.
According to the Article, after the war, Marcos tried to appeal for recognition of
the Maharlika unit, but was denied because his claims were distorted,
exaggerated, fraudulent, contradictory and absurd.

While the contention of Marcoss wartime role is still unanswered, it cannot be

used as a justification of his burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. Documents
are needed, and the burden of proof still relies on the Marcoses in order to
credit this justification.
The Marcos Regime
Becoming a president does not automatically entail heroism. My opponent
argues that in his presidency, he built many infrastructure projects. Firstly,
these infrastructure projects did not transcend economic benefits to the people
during that time. According to SWS, the highest recorded poverty rate in the
Philippines is 74%, which was reported in April 1983. According NSCB,
poverty rate spiked highest at 44% in June 1985.
Secondly, these infrastructure projects were used as instruments to legitimize
the rule. Gerard Lico, as cited by one of my favorite History professors in UP
Baguio, Mr. Mathew Luga writes, (the infrastructure projects are) Massive
loaned investments in buildings were to project to the international community
an impressive myth of overnight industrialization, rendering an illusion of fastpaced progress in the country., but resulting to:
Yes, he was never convicted of any crime, because he died before any
criminal case against him could be decided upon. Still, courts from Singapore,
Switzerland and the United States already proved that the Marcos family
accumulated ill-gotten wealth. Even our own Supreme Court in a 2003 case
already ruled that the family has amassed illicit assets, saying that [t]he
Marcoses had dollar deposits amounting to US $356 million representing the
balance of the Swiss accounts of the five foundations, an amount way, way
beyond their aggregate legitimate income of only US$304,372.43 during their
incumbency as government officials.. Enough evidence already proves
Marcos to be a plundererin no less than four courts from different countries
how enough is enough to conclude that he is a plunderer and still allow him
to be buried into the commemorative grounds of our national heroes?
AFPR G 161 374 also provided that [t]he remains of the following shall not
be interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayani: a. Personnel who were

dishonorably separated/reverted/discharged from the service. This was what

happened in 1986: Marcos was dishonorably separated/reverted/discharged
from service by the people who joined EDSA I. While it may be conceded that
the post EDSA I situation is not the democratic haven we envisioned after a
dictatorial rule, it was a legitimate show of dissent, of unity of opposition
against a tyrannical rule in our history. It was a start of democratic transition,
and a show of power of collective action to separate/revert/discharge a
dictator from his power.
In addition, Section I of Republic Act No. 289, provides for the construction of
the LNMB to perpetuate the memory of all the Presidents of the Philippines,
national heroes and patriots for the inspiration and emulation of this
generation and of generation still unborn. I dont see someone who allowed
his citizens to die because of their opposition to him, someone who was
proven to steal public funds for his own interest, and whose lineage actively
revisions and lacks remorse on the human rights violations that their rule
On Justifying the Implementation of Martial Law
This is an unfounded excuse to defend him. Yes, the declaration of Martial
Law was constitutional under the constitution he furnished for himself, but
nowhere in the 1935 Constitution, and even in Proclamation 1081 itself, is
there a provision that grants authority to the AFP to torture suspected
criminals. Even Article IV, Section 20, of the 1973 Constitution expressly
states that, [n]o force, violence, threat, intimidation, or any other means which
vitiates the free will shall be used against [any person].
Secondly, Manuel Yan, the AFP Chief of Staff 1968-1972 said in an oral
interview that Martial law was not needed that time. He remarks,
Kakaunti lang ang conflict sa Mindanao noon. Hindi naman malala ang
sitwasyon diyan sa New Peoples Army na kayang sugpuin naman ng ating
armed forces through small unit actions onlyTayo ay nagtatag ng units of the
Armed Forces against demonstrations. Tayo ay bumili ng anti-riot equipment

to be able to quell this student unrest peacefullyHindi Kailangan ng Martial

Secondly, affirmative may argue that there was a growing communist threat in
the country. This was true, but Martial Law exacerbated it. According to
sources, Marcos and martial law were NPAs biggest recruiter, where numbers
rose from 1,028 armed guerillas, to 22,000 after he fled away from
Malacanang. NPAs believe that change cannot come through election and
electoral reform, especially the massive cheating incidence during the 1969
and succeeding elections under his regime. How can you expect someone to
believe in state rhetoric? People radicalized because of his rule, and turned to
armed struggle as a solution to overthrow the system.
And If he really did what he was supposed to do, he should have ensured that
the rights of all citizens, including those accused of rebellion or insurrection,
are protected according to the very constitution that he crafted himself.
Instead, he let the number of human rights violations to reach the thousands.
Truth be told, he did not do what needed to be done. At best this was an
arbitrary move, but at worst, a move for his own political gain- to suspend the
elections and prolong his stay in power.
On the 2011 Joint Resolution
Yes, he was never convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. But the
decided cases of ill-gotten wealth are enough evidence to conclude that he is
not worth a heros burial. Such court decisions here and abroad are based on
clear evidence and are merely not a form of political move.
To bury Marcos in the LMB is to distort the very sense of heroism founded
upon our collective national past of heroes who fought for liberation, not for the
demise of our people. To give him a heros burial is to acknowledge that
someone can be a plunderer and a human rights violator and still be called a
hero in the end. And allowing this contradiction of propriety is too much of a
cost just to reiterate our sense of humanity and respect for the dead.

The national discourse regarding Martial law is already happening, and we do

not need To bury Marcos at the Libingan [just] to invite discussions on what
the man really was, human as he is. The LNMB is a place to commemorate
heroes, not a space to debate about controversial people.
Yes, Marcos cannot defend himself, but more especially to those who died
without fairness and justice during Martial Law; who died and still questioning
why they were tortured and killed by the regime. They, too cannot rest
peacefully, or at least their relatives who are still searching for justice, if we
praise the man who turned a blind eye to their deaths, and whose son lacks
remorse on it.
Marcos deserves burial, yes. They can do it anytime, but a heros burial is
improper. We are not monsters for forbidding such act. Its an attempt, not as
big as an act of justice to those who were killed, tortured and disappeared
during his regime. Its an act telling to our future that being a plunderer and a
human rights violator is not heroic even if you build hundreds of infrastructure
projects that did not even benefit entirely the whole population.
We judge a dead man by the legacy that he left. Marcos left a nation that has
barely recovered from the political, social and economic injustices of his
regime. We do not need more blood nor hate. We just have to refuse a dead
man his heros burial because he does not deserve it.
Yes, history and historical judgment will always be divisive, and people will
always choose a side of the fence. But to move on, forget the other side and
bury him at the LMNB just to break this divisiveness is injustice. No, history is
not written by the victors. The dialectic of the victor-defeated, oppressoroppressed is too thin. History is written by common people- of the
contemporaneous, of the eyewitness. History is never propaganda; it is
grounded on historical reality. History is ours- of the nation who suffered under
the Mans regime. Let us not forget. We will never bury the man in the LNMB
because clearly, he does not deserve it.