THAT DAMNED BURIAL

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  • So the Marcos Loyalists finally have their day.  After waiting 27 years.  To all our brother Ilocanos – my Dad is an Ilocano by the way, though not a Marcos fan – you have my genuine respect on this auspicious occasion when your Apo Lakay is finally laid to rest.  Well played.

    I thought that the Marcos burial issue was not a legal question but a political one, and therefore, it’s the President’s call.  He decides and he called it.  Quite courageous, I might add, considering the exuberance of emotion surrounding this issue. It’s not surprising really since Pres. Duterte said as much in his campaign rhetoric.  We should have expected this.

    But the anti-Marcos group brought the matter to the Supreme Court, and the shock is, the Bench ruled 9 v. 5 to allow the burial of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan.  That should have ended the discussion, even if there’s a Motion for Reconsideration. Because if the anti-Marcos  group can’t accept a Supreme Court decision, then what “rule of law” are we talking about?

    The clear thing with democracy is, you don’t always get what you want, and you have to live with it.

    I get it that Pres. Marcos is a dictator and a plunderer. I even stood in People Power EDSA in 1986 for four days to protest against that.

    But having said that, I realize this too: the fact that the Marcoses were exiled and not executed, that they were allowed to return, eventually run for office and re-establish their political clout after Edsa also shows how ambivalent our society is to the dictatorship and the atrocities they claim.

    But this issue is not the same.

    This issue is not about justice, not about change. It’s about entitlement.  And pride.

    The pro-Marcos group believe their Apo Lakay is entitled to a burial at Libingan and about regaining their pride.  The anti-Marcos group think only their opinion is correct and this burial is about their loss of pride too.

    The burial itself was not even one fit for heroes.  Too austere and simple. Definitely not heroic or joyful.  It was like the family also just wanted to get it over with.  The opposition describes it as “like a thief in the night.” But really, would they have wanted it the other way?  A short parade and a 21-gun salute just doesn’t cut it for a hero’s burial.

    It’s not even a question of allowing the burial so we can all “move on.”  I mean if we haven’t really moved on after 1986, it’s probably too late. And  if the Marcos victims weren’t able to claim their idea of justice in 27 years, they’ll probably never get it.  And probably never forgive either.

    At the end of the day, the  damned burial is a non issue.  Our opinion of Pres. Marcos won’t and shouldn’t  change depending on where he is buried. Honestly, it became such a small deal to me after finding out that even some Marcos generals are buried there.

    People are worried about what future generations will think.  I’ve always believed that the future will take care of itself, inspite of what we do or think today. The dictator died and after 27 years he was buried. Easy enough to explain.

    In another time and place, they would have cut off his head with a guillotine. Or brought him at the back of the courthouse and just shot him there.   Now that would been interesting.

    Someone said that “even if you park a jeepney in Jay Leno’s garage, it doesn’t become a Bentley.”

    Yes it can’t.  And I can live with that.

    By: Jj Atencio

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