Contrary to the avowals of the Marcoses and loyal apologists, the impending hero’s burial of the ousted dictator is not providing closure to an infamous rule, but opening it up for closer scrutiny by forgetful generations of both young and old.
Gauging by the public response on the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing the hero’s burial, more and more people are revisiting those dusty pages of the darkest period in our recent history. Going by online discussions, keen interest is put to bear not only on the orgy of human rights abuses, but also on the wanton economic devastation Marcos Dictatorship wrought upon our country.
The Marcoses may have succeeded in their first step towards rehabilitation of the ousted dictator, but they have also, in the process, unintentionally reinstated on the pedestal of debate the unaddressed accountability of the deposed dictatorship. This should drag into light the role of Marcos allies and cronies who until now have remained in their shadowy bastions of influence only to worm their way back into the greater halls of power. This should also expose the failure of the succession of post-Marcos regimes at running after the beneficiaries of the dictatorship and working for justice to victims of Martial Law.
Without help from Cory government, the Marcos’ victims themselves, through their organization SELDA, initiated the historic class suit against Marcos in 1986 in Hawaii, where the dictator went into exile. In 1995, SELDA secured a landmark victory when the Federal Circuit Court of Hawaii declared Ferdinand Marcos guilty of human rights violations. The victims was in for a bonus when the same court also ordered the Marcos Estate to remunerate the plaintiffs in a $2-B reward for damages.
All those time, the Marcoses and cohorts were declaring to high heavens the dictator was short of a saint.
Yet, Marcos’ victims and their families have not wavered in their dedication to bring the dictatorship and its beneficiaries to justice. They have continuously raised the banner of accountability and protested impunity even if they were persecuted anew for speaking out. They have united with the greater masses of our people who believed that true justice and national healing could only be had with the corresponding changes in the structures of our societal system.
The Marcoses and their cohorts can celebrate all they want on this latest effrontery. They can dance on a platform built upon the bones of Martial Law victims.
They have been doing so for decades. Still, the audience is not clapping, but raising their fists.
And so the struggle continues.