President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has granted a hero’s burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, triggering shock and dismay among most patriotic Filipinos, who still remember the atrocities of the martial-law years.
What heroic or noble deed did the feared dictator do in his lifetime that should now entitle him to lie beside those nationally revered names inscribed on the stones in Manila’s Heroes’ Cemetery? Those who were there remember only the suffering he heaped on the people. Even his wartime exploits as a guerrilla leader, for which he claimed to have earned recognition and awards, were found to be nothing more than a product of his imagination.
I realise, of course, that the incoming president might only be acting on a promise to bring change to this nation. But, for the sake of those who now rest there, he should pause and exert some effort to really grasp the meaning of Heroes’ Cemetery. In the hearts of every patriotic Filipino, it is sacred ground, hallowed by those who gave their lives to our country and people without asking or expecting anything in return.
Juanito T Fuerte
(From the Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN)