HEROES AND A THIEF
People are gathering in streets across the Country in protest; media is ablaze with disgust; and individual citizens are aghast over yet another issue that marks a great gap among our countrymen – an issue that covers political, civil and even moral rights.
The Philippines’ former President Ferdinand E. Marcos has been buried at the National Libingan ng mga Bayani, following the Supreme Court ruling that allowed his family to finally lay his remains in the midst of other National Heroes. For many years since his death, his remains had been preserved in wax to maintain its physical state, waiting for the right time that it be given it’s proper burial. The time has come to close the lid, so to speak.
The clamor? Marcos loyalists are fighting for his rights to a burial befitting a former country leader, a hero. The opposition, on the other hand, are fighting for the preservation of our country’s moral rights and professing their strong condemnation against the burial of a thief together the country’s brave men and women who fought for what our country is today. Their cry is for the country to look back at the horrific acts the former President and his wife had done, and remember how much damage they’ve done to this Country.
The following is a petition posted on Change.org:
Burying Ferdinand E. Marcos alongside our nation’s heroes who fought for our freedom is an affront to the thousands of lives tortured and murdered during his reign. A hero does not take away freedom, he campaigns for it and fights for its survival for the sake of others. Laying him to rest at the Heroes’ Cemetery is a disdainful act that will send a message to the future of our nation – our children – that the world we live in rewards forceful and violent hands. Several other reasons why Ferdinand E. Marcos should not be buried in the Philippine’s Heroes’ Cemetery:
- According to President Duterte: “The issue on the burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani has long created divisions among our people,” – This is not what’s causing the division. It will in fact further sever the opportunity for unity since this is an injustice to the victims of Martial Law and the families they left behind.
- It is a known historical fact that Ferdinand E. Marcos proclaimed Martial Law in 1972 which stayed in effect until 1981. Under Martial Law 70,000 people were imprisoned, 34,000 were tortured, and 3,240 were killed.
- The United States Army concluded after World War II that claims by Ferdinand E. Marcos that he had led a guerrilla resistance unit during the Japanese occupation of his country were ”fraudulent” and ”absurd.” Blatant lies of manipulation is not a heroic act.
- Only two of 33 war medals were received by Marcos during the 2nd World War. Fabricating stories about war accomplishments for political gain is not heroic.
- His gross plunder and mass murder trumps his status as a soldier. Serving one’s country in war does not warrant heroism if they place that same country in ruin. Foreign debt increased from $355 million in 1962 to $28.3 billion in 1986. The peso value to the dollar decreased from 3.90 in 1966 to 20.53 in 1986.
- President Duterte declared: “I will allow the burial of President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani not because he is a hero. He was a Filipino soldier, period.” – Not all soldiers were buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani and burying him there will label him a hero whether he was a Philippine soldier or not. “Those who were dishonorably separated, reverted, or discharged from the service, and those who were convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude cannot be buried at the cemetery.” Marcos was ousted from power.
On these grounds alone, he is not qualified. Ferdinand E. Marcos is not a hero. Only heroes are buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery as the name so literally states.
So, dear Christian, it’s time to stop and reflect once again: How are we to respond to such issues? Are we to hastily post our comments and emotions on social media? Are we to go out and protest with the rest of the country in the streets? Are we to fan the flames and feed the frenzy of the masses? Let’s see…
Marcos is being accused of murder, theft, fraud and lying – among many other things.
BUT DON’T WE ALL DO THESE THINGS?
“None is righteous, no, not one.”
Haven’t we all lied at one point in our lives (and no, there are no such things as white lies)? Haven’t we all stolen things, regardless of its value? Haven’t we all committed murder in our hearts each time we became angry towards others?
The fact remains that we are all guilty of the exact same things we are accusing our former President. The reality remains that we are no better than Mr. Marcos.
Does he truly deserve a hero’s burial? That has already been decided upon by our current leaders. As followers of Christ, it is not our place to join the protests that cry for a change in verdict. It is not our place to make too much of a fuss about burying a lifeless life-sized wax figure. As followers of Christ, we know that It’s the soul that matters in the end. The body, regardless of where it will be buried will just remain in the ground. The soul has gone to where it’s headed.
So if we go along with the rest of the Country, fanning the flames of disgust over a decision made by our rulers, how are we being salt and light to unbelievers?
Our duty and our battle cry in our present day must always be for those who are still living. We must tell them of our sinfulness. We must tell them the consequences of our sins, that one day we, too, will face Divine judgment. We must tell them of our need for a Savior – God, Himself, who became man to pay the ransom for our sins. We must tell them of the need to repent and surrender our lives to Jesus our Savior.
Every minute counts! Go and share the Gospel while there is still time!
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
— Written By: Anne Ilagan