The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) has called for President Rodrigo Duterte to follow President Ferdinand Marcos’ wish on his deathbed to lay to rest next to his mother in Ilocos Norte.
“At his deathbed, Mr. Marcos himself asked that he be buried next to his mother in Ilocos, where he is revered and loved,” said CEAP in a statement.
Marcos reportedly whispered to then-Vice President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, who was called to come to his deathbed in Hawaii, that he wanted to just die in the Philippines and to be buried beside his mother.
“Fulfilling Mr. Marcos’ deathbed wish will give us all unity and closure that this country desperately needs,” the association added.
They also said that by fulfilling Marcos’ dying wish, “it grants our nation a final measure of justice, justice due decades-long after the dark chapter of our history under dictatorial rule.”
The CEAP opposed Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, saying that the dictator “does not belong there.”
The group also expressed their stand with the victims of human rights abuses, the survivors and their families who suffered during Martial Law.
“We – students, teachers, priests and nuns, activists, good governance and human rights advocates and ordinary Filipinos – stand with Martial Law victims and claimants-survivors against granting a hero’s burial to the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The Libingan is a national shrine for heroic Filipinos who have rendered great service and sacrifice for the nation, including 32,268 WWII military personnel who bravely suffered the Death March,” the CEAP said.
They also reminded the President to keep true to his promise of unity and healing in the country.
“President Rody, we ask nothing that you have not already promised. Justice. Unity. Healing. A better Philippines as envisioned by the thousands who gave the ultimate sacrifice to restore the freedoms that we now enjoy. President Rody, we ask that you heal this festering wound. Let this be your legacy. Please do not allow the burial of Mr. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” the CEAP added.
And using Duterte’s major campaign promise of invoking change, the group also urged Duterte to stay true to his promise of change.
“We look forward to your promise of change fulfilled, old wrongs being redressed. We ask that you take the biggest step in rectifying one of the country’s oldest wrongs,” the CEAP said.