If you want proof that members of the Philippine political opposition are incompetent, lack foresight and leadership skills, just look at the way they handled their opposition to block the burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), otherwise known as the cemetery reserved for the country’s heroes, soldiers and former Presidents. Their actions are quite laughable, really.
In the first place, their petition to block Marcos Sr’s burial at the LNMB came almost three decades too late. What the hell were they doing the whole time? Now they are acting so shocked and outraged that the burial took place without them knowing beforehand. They are saying that, just like “a thief in the night”, the Marcoses carried out the burial in “secret”. What secret are they talking about? His burial, which was supposed to take place in September, was announced in August of 2016. It was only delayed after the petitioners filed a case to block it with the Supreme Court.
Besides, Marcos’s kin made no secret about their wish for his body to be buried at the site ever since his remains were brought back from the Unites States in 1993, only four years after his exile from the Philippines. The arrival of his body reportedly even had a lavish welcome by thousands of his supporters with women in the crowd weeping. His body’s return should have been a signal for his critics to start mobilising any moves to prevent his family from going through with the state burial. But what did they do? The late former President Cory Aquino who was still alive in 1993 did not do anything. Neither did her son, former President BS Aquino who was also a legislator for years. It is quite baffling why he did not even craft a law to prevent it from happening.
The truth is, anti-Marcos advocates are only good at making a lot of noise. What they are doing now — holding rallies — is pretty much consistent with what they were doing in the last three decades. Prominent personalities release statements like “Marcoses broke the law in holding the burial despite an appeal against the SC decision” as if they want the public to believe that there is already a motion for reconsideration filed at Supreme Court (SC) and make the Marcoses look like they cheated. These anti-Marcos advocates are very good at playing the victim.
Those who were against the burial had 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration with the SC. Marcos’s burial took place ten days after SC dismissed petition to block it. It seems the anti-Marcos advocates wanted to wait for the last day before even thinking about filing for motion for reconsideration. Or they were waiting for someone to do it for them. Either way, they screwed up big time.
The Protesters will not succeed in reversing anything. Had they been more organised, they would have succeeded in blocking Marcos’s burial on the same year the former first lady, Imelda Marcos made her wishes known that she intends to keep her husband’s remains on display in their mausoleum until the government yields to her demand for a burial in the National Heroes’ Cemetery in Manila.
Some ordinary people on the streets make more sense than so-called members of the elite who have joined the protest against Marcos burial. They were berating the students who were holding placards “Marcos Dictator!” with one of the men telling the kids “Sisihin nyo si Ramos!” Indeed, former President Fidel V. Ramos was the one who lifted Cory Aquino’s ban on the repatriation of Marcos’ body back to the Philippines in the first place. It started the ball rolling. So the blame should be directed at Ramos, not the Marcoses. Those who curse Marcos for the Martial Law years should hold Ramos responsible for human rights abuses committed under Martial Law as head of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) since the unit was responsible for the arrest and torture of civilians during that “dark” period. Marcos may not have known all the individual cases of the victims, but Ramos would. Since Ramos is still alive, the anti-Martial Law advocates can still sue him. But they could be waiting for him to die before they realise Ramos is to blame for atrocities too.
Anti-Marcos advocates are not good at analysing things properly. They even blame Duterte and want him to be held accountable for Marcos’s burial at the LNMB. It’s not clear on what grounds though. The Supreme Court allowed it so that means the law is on Duterte’s side.
Some also say Marcos is a true traitor because his burial was held in secret. They compare the “hero’s burial” of the late slain former senator Ninoy Aquino with its large crowds attending his public funeral procession. As mentioned earlier, the date may have been moved, but it wasn’t a secret. The military was there and accorded him military honours along with other attendees invited by the Marcoses. There was even video footage of the funeral rites. And if you think about it, the Marcoses did not need to inform those who were opposed to the burial. Why should they be informed considering they were only going to make a mockery out of the whole thing? That would have been a crazy idea. The Marcoses were obviously smart enough to avoid the drama the protesters would have brought to the occasion.
Indeed, drama is the last thing the Philippines needs after 30 years of drama and emotional outburst from the Aquinos and their allies. Just look at the leaders of the opposition today led by Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leila De Lima and Antonio Trillanes. Their arguments are weak and they don’t possess the qualities of a true leader. They are not on the side of the law. In fact, one can be forgiven for saying they have the word “loser” written all over their faces. They don’t deserve to be at the helm. They even say the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution has lost its meaning after Marcos’s burial at the LNMB. Once again, it’s only now they realise that that event lost its true meaning a long time ago – when it became apparent that the so-called “revolution” was just a power grab by the opposition then. The players just used the people to disguise their agenda. Hopefully, the people are smart enough not to allow themselves to be used again.