Rene Saguisag, former senator and lawyer who helped victims defend their human rights during the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ reign, puts the blame on President Rodrigo Duterte for the unannounced burial of the deceased Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
On Tuesday, he told “The Source” that it was unbelievable how the President was unaware of this secret burial.
Moreover, Saguisag points out that Duterte has “not done anything to sanction those who did it”, talking about the military and police who were in coordination with the Marcos family.
He believes that the police and military are accountable, “They have to explain why they did it. It could not have been done without clearance from the highest.”
Duterte maintains that he was unknowledgeable of the specific date of burial as he was out of the country to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting in Lima, Peru during the interment.
Saguisag stated that Fidel V. Ramos should also be held responsible “but is not really blameworthy because an agreement was reached, and he had assumed that it would be honored.”
During his term, Ramos allowed the body of Marcos to return to the country with the conditions that his remains should stay in Ilocos Norte and has denied the burial ever since, claiming this burial a “connivance” among the Marcoses, the military and police.
Ramos advised President Duterte to listen to the side of other parties involved to which Saguisag adds, “Mr. Duterte, it’s not only the Marcoses you should please.”
Saguisag also mentioned that the timing of the burial was bad, particularly with the 75,000 claims being processed by the Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Compensation Board.
The surprise burial led to mass protests on the same day after the media got wind of the news.
Saguisag believed that the President should have listened to the calls of leftist groups.
“They were the only group that consistently fought Marcos from day one, they sacrificed the most, they suffered the most, and so they should be listened to when it comes to the gross human rights violations of that kleptocrat,” he said.