On Wednesday, Martial Law victims who were upset by President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that the issue on the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a “feud between the two families” retorted that the issue cannot be reduced as a measly conflict between the Aquinos and Marcoses.
Former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares referred to the President’s statement as “reductionist,” stating that “he cannot reduce the pain of the victims.”
Colmenares, who was also human rights violation victim during Martial Law, stated at a forum in Quezon City, “Ang issue namin ay hindi dahil kay Ninoy (Aquino). Noong ako’y naging chairman ng Student Catholic Action, walang kune-koneksyon si Aquino doon.”
Colmenares admits that he, along with some of his associates, favors a number of the president’s policies such as his fight on contractualization, peace process and independent foreign policy, but greatly disagree with Duterte’s stand on Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
He urges Duterte to review the Marcos dictatorship and its history to gain fuller understanding of the issue at hand, “I think President Duterte should recognize the history and the context of Martial Law to explain the inflamed emotions that are continuing to erupt.”
Spokesperson for the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, May Rodriguez, also shared the same view as Colmenares.
Also a victim during Marcos dictatorship, Rodriguez stated, “Hahamunin ko sinuman na nagsasabi na ito ay Marcos at Aquino conflict dahil ako ay tatayo dito at magsasabing hindi ito totoo dahil wala akong pakialam sa pamilya Aquino.”
She adds, “Kahit sabihin mo na ang pulitika natin nasa pagitan ng mga pami-pamilya, let us not miss the truth na sinira ni Marcos ang demokrasya, dinurog niya ‘yung democratic institutions noong siya ay nag-declare ng Martial Law.”