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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mourning, Marshal Law and Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani

Mourning is a personal closure, since it brings humans to a full circle of birth and death, of comings and goings. When I saw the headline that a sister whose brother was missing during the Martial law era said that "Buti pa si Marcos may bangkay," (Lucky is Marcos, he has a cadaver) I just can't shake it off from my thoughts.

I lost my father this year and I am still finding myself some comfort in knowing that he rested from the physical pains. I know he died and I know we ushered him to a resting place. These thoughts actually comfort me. Thus, putting myself in that sister's shoe, I just can't imagine myself mourning without a closure. Perhaps, she will always mourn until she can no longer mourn.

There are many personal stories of loss and unnecessary deaths during the Marshal Law that we just cannot close our eyes and say that the past is past and we should move on as a nation. No, we cannot just do that because there was no positive action from the family of the late Ferdinand Marcos regarding their intention to ask for forgiveness for the human rights violations and there is no moral (if legal is not feasible) restitution of the wealth we lost during the regime. The nation cannot forgive if there is no asking for it. In fact, the insistence of FM being buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani is not a national sentiment but only that of the current President (add the Ilocanos there) obviously because Marcos Jr was an ally when he ran for the presidency.

The injuries made during the Marshal law is a historical fact and the fact that one's family was not a direct recipient of human rights violation at that time, it does not mean that Marshal law is a good thing. The Presidential Decrees of FM are still being used today to enforce harmony and I am sure he had lots of good intention for an orderly society but whatever good things marshal law gave us is eclipsed by FM's abuse of power, directly or through his instrumentalities. As a nation, we surely do not want to go through that again. NEVER.

The late president Ferdinand Marcos may be physically buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani but we will always tell and retell the stories of the human rights abuses that happened during Marshal law and the many infamies he caused. Go ahead, bury him there. But we will never stop telling the story so we will never forget.

To close, while the Marcos family wanted a heroes' burial for FM, there are many Filipinos who are still looking for a body to bury and put to rest. I just can't imagine the pain they feel from the mere presumption and forced acceptance of the conclusion of the death of their loved ones and the emotional abuses made to them from time to time by false news of unearthed bodies of their relatives, some fortune tellers telling them where to find their loved ones' body for a fee, some emotional blackmailers, and now, some news of forced "moving on" from Marshal law.  

*Photo credit: MARIANNE BERMUDEZ, Philippine Daily Inquirer