No Moving On

(This is a re-post of Manila Today's feature article No moving on as SC decides in favor of Marcos burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani. Text and photos from Manila Today.)

“Hindi pwedeng sabihing closure ang mangyayari dito. Lalo pang magagalit ang taong bayan [We cannot say this is a closure. People will rage],” said former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares to a crowd supporting the petitions against President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to bury the remains of ex-president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

Colmenares was himself a victim of Marcos’ Martial Law, imprisoned and tortured as a teen. Among the crowd expressing their dissent to the Marcos burial at the LNMB were Martial Law survivors who were tortured, detained, or subject to police and military harassment.

In a 9-5-1 vote at the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday, the petitions filed by various groups and individuals that sought to junk the order for the LNMB burial were dismissed.

According to the summary of the decision by the SC, “there are certain things that are better left for history – not this court – to judge. The Court could only do so much in accordance with the clearly established rules and principles. Beyond that, it is ultimately for the people themselves, as the sovereign, to decide, a task that may require the better perspective that the passage of time provides. In the meantime, the country must move on and let this issue rest.”

“Bakit naman magkaroon ng closure? Humilom na ba ang mga sugat ng mga biktima ng Martial Law? [Why will there be closure? Have the wounds of the Martial Law victims been healed?]” Neri Colmenares asks the crowd outside the SC, to which they responded with a loud “Hindi! [No!]”

Bonifacio Ilagan of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA), called on the people to continue fighting for justice as it all the more continues.

“Ang araw na ito ay lalong hudyat upang ako, kami, at tayong lahat ay manindigan sa buong Pilipinas sapagkat ang laban ay lalo lamang nag-iinit [This day indicates that I, we, all of us must stand for our fight will be stronger],” said Ilagan.

Ilagan was tortured and imprisoned during Martial Law. His sister was among the first desaparecidos.