The one moment in history that reminds me of the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) is the burial of Joseph Stalin next to Russia’s “great leader” and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin.
A burial made possible by loyalists of Stalin, until the De-Stalinization movement began during the 1950s years after Stalin’s death in 1953 under Nikita Khrushchev’s reign that began with the demolition of Stalin’s monuments along with renaming the places that glorifies Joseph Stalin like renaming Stalingrad to Volgograd. Then Stalin was exhumed out of Lenin’s crypt was in 1961 and placed him out of there to the Kremlin walls.
That is a communist setting to which Khrushchev did to denounce Stalin’s ‘cult of personality’, a trait of Stalin that he considered was inconsistent to the ideology of communism and their party’s ideology especially Lenin’s ideology.
In the Philippine setting, President Rodrigo Duterte did something what most Filipinos are not truly in favor of and that is his decision to allow the burial of the late president at the Libingan ng mga Bayan (LNMB). Duterte truly kept his promise to the people of Ilocos Norte that ensured him of votes.
For a guy like me, the cry of loyalists and the Marcos family to bury him at LNMB was nothing new since the news to allow his burial timely comes out. Just like how the endless reiterations of Martial Law both positively (by Marcos loyalists), negatively are presented on television and radically on social media.
If we think really hard about these events before this burial; Duterte allowing the Marcos burial and Duterte showing so much love and respect for Bongbong like a brother when he lost the vice presidential election is a sign of Duterte’s idolatry for the late strongman. The events happening right now could be a sign that Duterte might rule the county in the manner that Marcos did when he threatened to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Let’s not expect too much of torture and severe human rights violations just yet, because extrajudicial killings is already a manifestion of Duterte’s vulgar display of power. Marcos’s vulgar display of power as we all know is forced disappearances, torture, and stealing the people’s funds that placed us in debt, and we are paying for it.
I won’t be surprised if Bongbong Marcos would soon get a cabinet position after the Commission on Election’s one year-ban on losing candidates to be appointed to government offices. At this point, we cannot just assume on what government office Duterte will place him.
The most disturbing part about this is the media blackout the Marcos family did to get his body out of Batac, Ilocos Norte that made people especially tourists dumbfounded that his body was about to go to LNMB while they keep on coming to his mausoleum. I even think the devil himself is caught off guard with these happenings now that Ferdinand has entered the Devil’s circles and the people in-charge of purgatory may have been reluctant of letting Marcos in and out of that place while his “body” was still enclosed in his glass coffin in Batac. Another is the Armed Forces of the Philippines telling the press that they were only rehearsing before the “actual date” but then again this is the date.
Now that this has happened under our noses, I expect less field trips to LNMB by schools in the province. Ordinary people like me can no longer come to the place again just to check out who’s who inside LNMB, and remember in what section Reynaldo Wycoco is buried and to find Angelo Reyes, who was once deemed unacceptable to be buried at LNMB by anti-Arroyo groups but again Reyes made the cut because he was a soldier. Not just a soldier, but a former chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who took his own life before his mother’s resting place after the shame he got from Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in a senate hearing.
That being said, we are again the world’s laughing stock for allowing an ousted president to be buried in a national cemetery. Then people still loyal to the legacy of the first EDSA revolution would still flock the streets on February 25 next year. But to celebrate EDSA 1 has been meaningless. No thanks to the hatred that people have in President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino’s and his incompetent administration. Next year’s EDSA celebration might only be an assembly to call for his exhumation from where he is now, and the following dates like August 21, Ninoy Aquino day, and September 21, the day Marcos signed the proclamation of martial law may have more louder demonstrations from this day onward.
As a student of journalism, I’m not really afraid of comments from people saying that I am a Marcos apologist, loyalist or even a sympathizer. I’m not even afraid of a enforced disappearance or sudden arrests that the government will make if they get to trace me if this government plans to relive the horrors of martial law.
This is a day of infamy for the Philippines.