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News :: Human Rights : International : Politics : Social Welfare : War and Militarism
Marcos is not a hero! Protest the plan to make him one!
14 Apr 2011
FERDINAND E. MARCOS is not a hero to the Filipino people. His martial law regime sent hundreds of thousands to jail, made people 'desaparecidos' because of their political beliefs. He is now being elevated to become a "hero" and plans are afoot by his families and allies to have him interred in Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes).
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Late Filipino dictator F. Marcos is NOT a hero! Please sign this petition.

Let our voices be heard: 'HINDI BAYANI SI MARCOS! TUTULAN ANG PLANONG ILIPAT SIYA SA LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI! (Marcos is not a hero! Protest the plan to transfer him to the Cemetery of Heroes!)

In Congress, Marcos crony Congressman Salvador Escudero, leads this campaign. The father of Senator Chiz Escudero has already gotten 204 members of Congress to sign the petition to have Marcos interred as a hero.

Money talks—especially in the Philippine socio-political cultural setting. This distortion of getting a brutal greedy dictator buried as a hero will happen unless the people speak out and shout: "No way."

What you can do:
1. Sign this petition.
2. Forward this petition to others, here and abroad.
3. Post the link in your social networking sites or pages.
4. Write letters to the officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to members of the Philippine House of Representatives, the Senate and to President NoyNoy Aquino.
5. Our goal is to reach 500,000 signatures and send the petition to the authorities and the Office of the President, the House of Representatives and the Senate.


Ferdinand Marcos an anti-hero, doesn't deserve hero's burial

MANILA, Philippines - The leader of a group of World War II veterans on Thursday said the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is an anti-hero who does not deserve a place at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

Atty. Rafael Evangelista, the national commander of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, made the remarks during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Filipino Heroes Memorial in Corregidor as part of the tribute for war veterans in time for the April 9 Araw ng Kagitingan.

Evangelista is the son of the late Rafael Evangelista, who served in the medical corps of the United States Armed Forces Far East in Bataan and Corregidor and was captured and tortured by Japanese forces during the World War II.

The younger Evangelista said he had been asked by many people about his position on the proposed hero's burial for Marcos.

“When confronted with the issue of Marcos burial at the Libingan, I've been forced to ask myself -- what legacy would we be leaving to the youth and to the generations after if we allow Marcos’s burial at the Libingan? It is a legacy that it is alright to regard as a hero a man who unleashed the powers of violence against his own people. It is a legacy of what I would call glorification of anti-heroes,” he said.

Evangelista said the late dictator "mangled" the Constitution, closed down Congress and controlled the media during martial law. He said Marcos also imprisoned real heroes such as Lorenzo Tañada, Jose Diokno, and Chino Roces.

Evangelista also cast doubt on the authenticity of Marcos's war medals, doubts which were first noted in a book written by American author Charles McDougald.

“I believe that saying yes to the proposed burial of Marcos in the Libingan tells our children that Marcos was a hero, that his lifetime cause was freedom, and that the legacy he leaves behind is that of a hero for the cause of freedom. I believe that this is not true,” he said.

He said his position on the issue is not yet the stand of the entire organization, saying he still has to consult with the group’s board.
“I cannot speak for them yet. I have talked to some of them and they answered yes. In fact, Nini Quezon Avanceña, the daughter of President Quezon, suggested that we take a position such as the one we took today,” said Evangelista.

Marcos was elected president in 1965 and was re-elected for a second term in 1969. Before the end of his second term, he imposed martial law in 1972 and stayed as president until 1986 when he was deposed by a bloodless People Power revolt.

He died in exile in 1989 but has yet to be buried. His remains are preserved in the family's mausoleum in Batac City.

President Aquino has refused to comment on the issue of giving Marcos a hero's burial. Aquino has maintained that Marcos ordered the murder of his father, the late Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., in 1983.

The President has assigned Vice-President Jejomar Binay to form a committee that will study the issue of a hero's burial for Marcos.


Educators warn solons: Marcos was not a hero

By Philip Tubeza

MANILA, Philippines—Stop the rewriting of history.

As the Philippines marked Araw ng Kagitingan on Saturday, Catholic educators issued a strongly worded statement calling on the lawmakers who had signed a House resolution endorsing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery to withdraw their signatures.

The resolution initiated by Rep. Salvador Escudero last month has been signed by 216 congressmen.

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), the largest organized group of Catholic schools and institutions, said the claims that Marcos was a war hero were false, and warned school administrators to be vigilant against the attempt to revise history.

It pointed out that it was Marcos’ corrupt dictatorial regime that had turned the Philippines into the “sick man” of Asia.

It added that burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would “desecrate” the People Power Revolution that ousted him in 1986 and made Filipinos famous worldwide for peaceful regime change.

“Was Marcos really a ‘well-decorated soldier’? He may have been a war veteran just like many Filipinos of his generation. But a hero certainly he was not,” CEAP said.

“As we celebrate Araw ng Kagitingan to commemorate the heroism of those who fought fascism during World War II, let us not make a mockery of the service and sacrifice of Filipino war veterans by giving a hero’s burial to someone who is not only a fake war hero but was also responsible for undermining democracy and development during his long tenure as an authoritarian ruler,” it said.

CEAP pointed out that the “elaborate tale” of the “Maharlika guerilla unit” that Marcos supposedly led during the war was “definitively exposed … as a total fabrication” by American historian Alfred McCoy in a well-researched study 25 years ago.

“[McCoy] revealed that official US military investigations into the ‘Maharlika’ story soon after World War II already dismissed this claim as a fraud,” CEAP said.

“Why should we now give the perpetrator of this lie a hero’s burial?” it said.

The group acknowledged that Marcos was the Philippines’ longest-serving President. But this was because “he declared martial law, used military repression to silence opponents, destroyed what was then an imperfect but working democratic system and perpetuated himself in power through an authoritarian constitution that was never legitimately ratified,” CEAP said, adding:

“How can his supporters claim that Marcos ‘built the modern foundations of the Philippines’ when he presided over the country’s near economic collapse under the burden of behest loans and corrupt practices which to this day our nation has not fully recovered from?

“Have Marcos, his family and cronies been made fully accountable for the serious charges of plunder—the amassing of ill-gotten wealth that sank the Philippines, while our Asian neighbors took off economically during his tenure?”

Hallowed ground

CEAP said that the Libingan ng mga Bayani was “hallowed ground meant for true heroes” and that Marcos did not belong there.

“Did Marcos really ‘serve’ the country? Was he truly until his death a ‘patriot’? While we cannot divine and judge his personal motives, the terrible suffering and damage wrought by Marcos’ 14 years of authoritarian rule is undeniable,” the group said.

“The recent compensation given to the many victims of martial law, though symbolic in monetary terms, is damning proof that the Marcos regime was guilty of gross human rights violations,” it said. “Is this the sort of person we want to see interred among genuine servant leaders and patriots?”

CEAP urged the lawmakers who had signed the resolution calling for Marcos’ burial at the Libingan to “seriously consider” withdrawing their signatures.

“We urge you to understand the true meaning of service, patriotism and heroism. We challenge you to rise to the challenge of statesmanship and not be swayed by facile political collegiality and false notions of ‘reconciliation’ and ‘solidarity,’” it said.

Speak out

The group urged other Filipinos, particularly those who suffered under martial law, to speak out against the proposed hero’s burial and show it as “utterly repulsive and demeaning.”

“We call on our schools to be ever vigilant against those who seek to revise and reinterpret history to suit their selfish interests and agenda. The teaching of Philippine history should precisely be strengthened to enable our people, especially our youth, to separate truth from falsehood,” CEAP said.

“The House signatories claim that the Marcos burial is meant as a ‘magnanimous act of reconciliation which will strengthen the bonds of solidarity among the Filipino people.’ But let us remember the words of St. Augustine: ‘Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.’ Let justice be the tie that binds us as a nation,” it said.


The philandering greedy Marcos a hero?

By Ted Laguatan, Esq.

The Marcos family and their supporters (ex-cronies, mercenaries, etc.) are moving heaven and earth to have Marcos interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. With tons of money, influential loyalists, mercenary journalists and other resources at their disposal—they may well succeed. They hope to end the stigma against the Marcoses if they do. They recently got some military officials to install Marcos in the AFP Hall of Heroes

Libingan ng mga Bayani literally means "Cemetery for Heroes". Essentially, in theory, it is reserved for those whom the nation honors for their service to the country.

In Congress, Marcos crony Congressman Salvador Escudero, leads this campaign. The father of Senator Chiz Escudero has already gotten 204 members of Congress to sign the petition to have Marcos interred as a hero.

Money talks—especially in the Philippine socio-political cultural setting. This distortion of getting a brutal greedy dictator buried as a hero will happen unless the people speak out and shout: "No way."

Ferdinand Marcos became a dictator based on a lie. He claimed the communists tried to assassinate his then Defense Secretary Ponce Enrile—and as such declared martial law. Enrile later confessed after Marcos fell, that this assassination story was concocted. The dictator killed, imprisoned and tortured political enemies. He engaged in all kinds of graft and corruption as well as stole directly from the Philippine treasury enabling him to amass billions—impoverishing and starving Filipinos.

Marcos brought out the worst in the Filipino. Many cooperated with his evil ways. He could not have thrived for so long without the obvious or tacit assistance of many.

The corrupt practices he institutionalized today continues to plague the Filipino people. Corrupt politicians from the lowest to the highest utilize Marcos' corruption technology of "steal and hide". Steal money through government procurements and other sophisticated methods—then hide the booty using cronies as fronts, depositing money overseas, investing in other countries and converting into corporate assets.

Imitated by succeeding government officials, Marcos' "massive stealing without going to jail" example have resulted in the country being arguably the most corrupt in Asia.

The economy is generally kept afloat by the millions in foreign currency sent by hundreds of thousands of heroic hardworking overseas workers who undergo tremendous sufferings due to family separations, loneliness and culture shock.

As a result of its widespread reputation for corruption, massive poverty and government inefficiency, the country is referred to by its neighbors interchangeably as "the basket case of Asia" or "the sick man of Asia".

Marcos' dark legacy should cause Filipinos to shudder in shame if despite the inumerable sufferings he has imposed on our people, his fabulously wealthy family and a small group of influential loyalists and mercenaries are able to impose their will on us and have him buried as a hero.

On July 4, 2004, investigative reporter Frank Walker of the Sun-Herald, an Australian newspaper - revealed in an article that the dictator had an affair with an obscure Australian playboy model named Evelin Hegyesi, who somehow had become a multimillionaire, lived in a plush Sydney waterfront mansion and owned several investment companies.

Hegyesi's daughter with Marcos is named after his mother: Analisa Josefa. Documents obtained by Sun-Herald reveal that on October 14, 1970, the 23 year old Hegyesi then three months pregnant with Analisa, formed a company named Austraphil Pty Ltd. In February, 1971, Austraphil bought a five bedroom mansion in Sydney's most expensive area: Wyuna Road, Point Piper, paying mostly in cash and a small loan.

Real estate papers showed that Austraphil took a loan of $250,000 ($2.5 million in today's money) from Finanz AG of Zurich. Finanz was a subsidiary of the Swiss SKA Bank, now called Credit Suisse. This is the main bank used by Marcos to stash his swag.

Hegyesi paid off the loan in 1976 transferring the property in her own name and sold the mansion for 6.2 million dollars in 1999. She has lived quietly in Sydney's ritziest area for almost forty years.

Sun-Herald's investigation of the Marcos-Hegyesi affair led to other revelations. It turned out that Marcos had many secret accounts at SKA including so called "foundations" dubbed Azio, Charis, Avertina, Vibor and Valamo aside from others. Swiss court investigations reveal that the Marcos millions came from illegal sources.

Among other irregularities, court papers indicated that Marcos siphoned directly from Japanese reparation funds $23 million (worth 275 million dollars in today's money) and placed it in his Charis foundation. These funds belonged to the Filipino people and was vital at that time to the country's economic development.

Of note is that on November 12, 1971 - Marcos signed a document making Austraphil the sole beneficiary of his Anzio Foundation. Analisa was then 3 months old.

This greedy philandering cruel man was nice to his many mistresses but not to the Filipino people to whom he left a legacy of much misery, suffering and bad governance. Now his family and a small group of powerful robber barons want to pull wool over the people's eyes and make him out to be a hero.

Mercenary Filipino journalists play a major role in good versus evil conflicts in Philippine society - attacking or defending an issue - depending on "envelopemental concerns".

Thus, some argue that Marcos may have been brutal, corrupt and greedy - but nevertheless was a World War II hero and as such should still be buried at the cemetery for heroes. Others argue that PNoy should be large hearted enough and be a statesman and show forgiveness and compassion to a war hero. He would be a fool and not a statesman if he did.

They further cite the recent example of General Angelo Reyes. Reyes served in many government positions including as Chief of Staff and Defense Secretary. When it was revealed in a Congressional investigation that he accepted payola, in shame he committed suicide. President PNoy nevertheless allowed his burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani based on his past government services.

PNoy played politician here giving the impression of being a kind person sympathetic to the family of Reyes . Moreover, it had yet to be established by corroborative evidence if the witness against Reyes told the truth - even if he appeared credible. The burial was excusable.

Was Marcos the multiple-medaled war hero his propaganda machine claimed he was? This claim was debunked by various researchers including the late Col. Bonnie Gillego who scanned military records in Washington DC and elsewhere. Gillego discovered that Marcos' claim as the greatest resistance fighter in WW II and war medals were blatantly false.

Gillego's book: "The Fake Medals of Marcos" not only exposed the deception foisted by the dictator on the Filipino people but also revealed that he was a Japanese collaborator and therefore a traitor. Gillego based his findings on American military records.

The world would be shocked if Marcos is now declared a hero. It's like former Nazis using their amassed wealth and influence succeeding in getting Adolfo Hitler declared as a hero.

If PNoy gives in to pressure and allow Marcos' hero burial at Libingan, it will be an official act formally declaring that Filipinos are the biggest fools on earth. It will also be an unofficial act declaring that PNoy has no balls who does not really understand true moral leadership. By so doing, he also desecrates the memory of his genuine hero father who was ordered killed by the Marcoses. Marcos was an absolute dictator and no one would have dared put the hit on Ninoy Aquino without an okay from Malacanang.

Does this mean Marcos should not be forgiven for his transgressions?

The Almighty tells us to forgive and we should. But He never told us that aside from forgiving, we should also honor murderers, torturers and thieves as heroes. This would be a terrible example for future generations of Filipinos.

Note: The California State Bar honors Atty. Laguatan as one of only 29 US lawyers officially certified as Expert Specialist in Immigration Law for more than 20 years. He also handles accident injuries and wrongful death cases.


Human rights victims on Marcos hero’s burial plans: A great insult

MANILA, Philippines – Human rights victims did not mince words when expressing their disapproval against plans to give a hero's burial for former strongman Ferdinand Marcos

They branded these plans as "a great insult and embarrassment to the Filipino people."

On Saturday, members of Samahan ng mga Ex-detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) chairperson Marie Hilao Enriquez, herself a victim of human rights abuse, said they will protest any move to have Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Cecilio Bayer, also a member of SELDA, said they will go as far barricading the funeral march if a hero's burial for Marcos ever pushes through.

Marcos was in power for 20 years, with many human rights violations recorded during his reign.

However, twenty five years since Marcos went on exile after a bloodless people power, several Marcos family members are back in power.

His only son and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is now a senator, while his wife, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, now has a seat in Congress.

This work is in the public domain
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