Filipinos say no to Marcos burial
By Ted Alcuitas
A small but determined group of Filipinos showed their opposition to the impending burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ remains at the country’s Hero’s Cemetery or Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The Vancouver rally at the World Trade Centre, is one of many similar rallies in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Vancouver, New York, Guam and Saipan.
Marcos died in Hawaii on September 28, 1989 where he was in exile three years after being toppled in a People Power Revolution. His remains were allowed to be returned to the Philippines and has since been kept in a refrigerated crypt in his hometown of Batac,Ilocos Norte.
One of those who showed up at the rally was former Winnipegger, Marcelino Principe who stood up against Marcos more than 30 years ago at a protest rally in front of the Philippine Consulate offices in Winnipeg, Manitoba immediately following the assassination of Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino on August 21, 1983.
“Papaano si Marcos kalaban natin noong araw, sinundan ni Gloria Arroyo…ngayong si Duterte. Hindi maganda..lalong lalo na ang mga bata pinapatay. May pagasa naman sana marehab gaya nang ginagawa sa ibang bansa…” he said when asked why he was still around. (Because Marcos was our enemy before, then Arroyo and now Duterte. It’s not good what he is doing..killing even children. They could still be rehabilatated just like what is done in other countries).
Bing Orense of the Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregiver’s Right (CDWCR) said she was not afraid to be in the rally. “Bakit aka matatakot, may freedom of expression naman tayo dito.”
Another protestor, Rose Mendoza, said she was on her way to the consulate offices and saw the rally and joined in.
“I believe in what they’re doing,” she said.
“Burying Ferdinand E.maros alongside our nation’s heroes who fought for our freedom is an affront to the thousands of lives tortured and murdered during his reign, ” says the open letter to Presient Duterte distributed at the rally.
Treenee Lopez, Chair and Founder of Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada who organized the rally, said the letter will be handed to the Philippine Consulate.
Among the protesters was the couple Lenore and Jose ‘Didi’ Lim of New York, formerly Vancouver residents but now divides their time between the two cities.
Didi was the leading voice of the anti-Marcos movement in Vancouver in the 80’s.
Yesterday (Sept. 7) the Philippine Supreme Court extended until Oct. 18 its order temporarily stopping the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City that was supposedly set on Sept. 18.
SC spokesman Theodore Te announced at the conclusion of the two-session oral arguments on petitions against the Marcos burial by martial law victims that the status quo ante order, which was supposed to expire on Monday, was extended to allow the justices to resolve the case on merits.
The high tribunal initially issued the order last Aug. 23, effective for 20 days, to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya as the military had started preparations for the burial.