President Rodrigo Duterte chided the presidents before him, especially the late President Cory Aquino and former President Benigno Aquino III, for not passing a law stopping the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
He defended his decision to allow Marcos’ burial at the LNMB, insisting that he only followed the law, which the Aquinos did not do anything about.
“It was a simple matter of amending the law and they had, the mother and the child, six, 12 golden years to do it,” Duterte said.
“Why did they not [do it] so that it would be clear if it was allowed? Because they did not want to gamble. They did not want to go into that because they were really afraid of what, the dissent, the crowed that would gather,” he added.
But Ateneo assistant professor Leloy Claudio and globally renowned debate trainer Sharmil Parmanand had answers to Duterte and whoever was blaming the Aquinos for firmly closing the door on Marcos’ interment at the heroes’ cemetery.
Claudio said that if the Aquinos did push for a law preventing the dictator from being buried at the LNMB, people would probably call him “vindictive.”
He presented this scenario: “PNoy: “Tinatawagan ko ang Kongreso na ipasa ang “Bawal Ilibing si Apo” bill. Opo, mga boss, isang tao, isang batas. Hindi naman po kasi malinaw sa Marcos compensation act at sa madato ng PCGG na kriminal si Marcos. Kailangan po nating sayangin ang oras niyong lahat para sa iisang batas na ito. “
And he thought this is the likely answer from ‘diktadortards:’ “Then the diktadortards would have been like: “Oh Panot is being vindictive.”
He added, “You cannot win with fascists.”
Debater Parmanand also addressed the question putting the blame on the Aquinos.
“”Why didn’t Cory/Noynoy just make it illegal for Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani?” – another bobo question,” she wrote.
She said that with the obvious abuses during the Marcos regime, it was “impossible to imagine” that a president would disregard such abuses.
“First, the corruption and abuses under Marcos were so glaringly clear (and there are court judgments to that effect!!!) that it was impossible to imagine a world where another President would be so beholden to the Marcoses to be willing to ignore all that,” Parmanand said.
And just like what Claudio said, the Aquinos’ focus on banning a hero’s burial for Marcos would have people accusing them of being vindictive.
“Second, it’s good that this wasn’t a major priority! If they had focused too much time on this, they would have been accused of being petty and vindictive,” she added.
Parmanand also slammed Duterte for shifting the blame to the Aquinos when it was his choice to allow Marcos’ burial at the LNMB, effectively ‘betraying’ the Philippines.
“Third, this is a ridiculous way of deflecting blame. Duterte chose to bury Marcos there. No one compelled him to do it. He chose to spit on the faces of victims and our history. No amount of mental gymnastics and blame-shifting will change that. It hurts to recognize that this president loved by so many betrayed the country in this way – but have the courage and honesty to call a spade a spade,” she said.