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SUPREME COURT DEFERS ACTION ON BURIAL PETITIONS FOR CONTEMPT AND EXHUMATION
[RELATED: Former presidents’ inaction to blame on Marcos burial case — Duterte]
[RELAED(2):  Erap - ‘I would have buried Marcos’]


NOVEMEBR 23 -A portrait of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos is placed beside his granite tomb as hundreds of supporters attend a mass at his graveyard Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, a day after Marcos was buried in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony at the Heroes' Cemetery in suburban Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines. Long-dead Marcos was buried Friday at the country's Heroes' Cemetery in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony, a move approved by President Rodrigo Duterte that infuriated supporters of the "people power" revolt that ousted Marcos three decades ago. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez Separate protests are being set as the Supreme Court (SC) has again deferred action on the pleadings of martial law victims after its decision earlier this month allowing the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Critics of the burial are seeking a united front even as rallies will be conducted on different dates to protest the surprise interment last Friday. SC spokesman Theodore Te bared the justices tackled during session yesterday the petition for contempt and urgent motion for exhumation of Marcos’ reported remains but decided to reset their deliberations to next Tuesday. He did not give a reason for the deferment, but an insider said that the member-in-charge of the case, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, who also penned the ruling on the burial, was on wellness leave. READ MORE...RELATED, Former presidents’ inaction to blame on Marcos burial case — DU30... RELATED(2) Erap: ‘I would have buried Marcos’...

ALSO: WITHOUT ’COMPASSION AND SENTIMENT’ Duterte says Marcos-burial decision made objectively
(The president also clarified that he did not have a special friendship with the Marcos family, and he in no way felt beholden to them. "It's not because of the Marcoses. 'Bati-system' lang, there's nothing close. We never had any dinner together, except one or two. Wala akong ano," he explained.)
[RELATED HEADLINE FROM THE US: Filipinos fail to make peace with Marcos’ burial in the Heroes’ Cemetery, demonstrations continue demanding the body’s removal - St Louis Star]


NOVEMBER 27 -President Rodrigo Duterte, during a speech Saturday at the San Beda Law Grand Alumni Homecoming in Taguig City, again defended his decision to allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, arguing that it was made objectively and without "compassion and sentiment." "You just have to understand my position. We [lawyers] are trained with cold neutrality," Duterte explained to his fellow law school alumni, some of whom he conceded did share his views. "You should not allow compassion, and sentiment, whatever, to taint your judgment." The president added that he knew from the beginning that he would have to deal with Marcos' burial if he became the chief executive. He thus took the time to study the matter, and made his decision clear during the presidential debates - that he would allow the interment at the LNMB According to Duterte, the regulations were unequivocal. "Eh, nakalagay doon, eh: president, soldier. Whether true or not, that's not my business to dig into the history. Whether or not he became good or bad, or worse, along the years, that is not for me to decide." READ MORE...RELATED HEADLINE FRO THE US (ST LOUIS STAR, Filipinos fail to make peace with Marcos’ burial in the Heroes’ Cemetery, demonstrations continue demanding the body’s removal - St Louis Star...

ALSO: COMMENTARY - Closure is in the living and not the dead
{Previous years focused on recovery of ill-gotten wealth. If we need to have closure, look for truth found in the testimonies of those who suffered. Name those who raped, tortured and killed, and if they are still alive, bring them to justice).
[RELATED: Coup fears eased amid anti-FM protests]


NOVEMBER 24 -PROF ANTONIO CONTRERAS
 THE burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani could never provide closure to the horrors of martial law, for which he was the chief architect. It will never put an end to the search for justice. And even if Marcos were denied such burial, it will still not extinguish the hate. Even if Kiko Pangilinan makes good his threat to exhume the body if the LP returns to power, this inhumanity will only satisfy the thirst to exact vengeance, but it will never stop the search for truth. Nothing can put an end to the search for truth, except truth itself. The torture, rape and murder of people who challenged the state by choosing to fight for the communist ideology, and those who were suspected of being their sympathizers, and the pain and suffering that such caused their families and loved ones, could never be assuaged by just settling for financial restitution. Compensatory justice can never be enough, and focusing on it does not serve the interest of truth since it does not reveal the human agents that caused the horrors. If at all, the crimes associated with martial law are now being paid for by the state from the Marcos loot, or whatever is recovered from it. READ MORE..RELATED, Coup fears eased amid anti-FM protests...

ALSO:
Bigger protests vs Marcos burial set

[RELATED: 'Marcos not a hero': Nationwide protests kick off]


NOVEMBER 24 -PROTEST SCENES Concerned citizens (left photo) who are outraged by Friday’s burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani continue their protest on Sunday at the Edsa People Power Monument. In Legazpi City,millennials (right photo) take to the streets to condemn the surprise interment. —GRIG C.MONTEGRANDE, GEORGE GIO BRONDIAL
A broad protest movement is set to greet President Rodrigo Duterte on his return on Friday to show the people’s indignation over the furtive burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City amid demands that the Supreme Court order an exhumation. “We’re laying it on him because no matter how we look at it, the process started with his pronouncement that if he becomes President, he’s going to allow the burial,” Bonifacio Ilagan, convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma), told the Inquirer on Sunday. The President is currently in Lima, Peru, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Ilagan said Marcos’ burial on Friday at Libingan was a direct affront to the victims of martial law and the activists who fought against the dictatorship. READ MORE...RELATED, 'Marcos not a hero': Nationwide protests kick off...

ALSO: Duterte to protesters: go ahead, “as long as you want, with no time limit”
[RELATED: Thousands at Anti-Marcos burial protesters unite at 'Black Friday' rally]


NOVEMBER 24 -President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech upon arrival near midnight Wednesday in Davao City from the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru. While in Lima, he said, he learned protest actions would greet him upon his return. He said protest actions can be done in “all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit”.
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 November) – Protest actions against what has been termed as the “sneaky burial” of the remains of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18 “shall be allowed in all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit,” President Rodrigo Duterte said near midnight Wednesday upon arrival from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, Peru. Duterte also said he “will gladly and (be) happy even to step down and relinquish my post” if protesters can “answer in the negative” his two key questions: “was the late Ferdinand Marcos a President and was he a soldier?” READ MORE...RELATED, Thousands at Anti-Marcos burial protesters unite at 'Black Friday' rally...

ALSO: Commentary - Democratic notes on Marcos burial at Libingan
[RELATED: Robredo: 'Sneak' burial of Marcos insult to Filipino people]


NOVEMBER 25 -In this photo provided by the Office of the Army Chief Public Affairs Headquarters Philippine Army (OACPA HPA), soldiers prepare to fold the flag-draped casket of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos during his burial at the Heroes' Cemetery in Taguig City, east of Manila, Philippines, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Despite growing opposition, after the Supreme Court ruled that one of Asia's most infamous tyrants can be entombed in the hallowed grounds, Marcos was buried Friday at the country's heroes' cemetery in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony which opponents said mocked the democratic triumph won when a "people power" revolt ousted him three decades ago. OACPA HPA via AP
Once again, Philippine society is featured in the pages of world history. When, in February 1986, the Filipino people stood up for their democracy, we were hailed in different international circles. Our love for our democracy was a distinguishing national character. Yet, the recent burial of the deposed dictator in a national shrine has raised new questions here in the Philippines and in the international community as well. This incident represents one of the greatest paradoxes in Philippine political history. READ MORE...RELATED,
Robredo: 'Sneak' burial of Marcos insult to Filipino people...

ALSO: COMMENTARY - Leni and the tomb raiders
[ALSO: The Marcos myth-making continues]


NOVEMBER 24 -EMIL JURADO
SANTA Banana, I thought I’d never see in my lifetime a vice president like Leni Robredo so lacking in self-respect and “delicadeza.” She refuses to resign her Cabinet post as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council despite openly criticizing President Duterte’s go-signal to have the remains of former strongman President Ferdinand E. Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. She claims she serves at the pleasure of the President, adding that if the President wants her out, he should say it. Doesn’t Robredo know that as a member of the Cabinet, she’s supposed to be an alter ego of the Chief Executive? My gulay, obviously not. Robredo is the typical “kapit-tuko.” I thought all the while that Robredo as a “provinciana” lawyer would be different from her “yellow” gangmates that ruled the country for the past six years. I thought she was angelic, but now it is clear I was wrong. * * * There are some clowns parading as victims of Martial Law. They want to exhume the Marcos grave at the LNMB to find out if it’s really the remains of Marcos that were entombed. Santa Banana, they are out to desecrate the dead! READ MORE...ALSO The Marcos myth-making continues...


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SC defers action on burial petitions


A portrait of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos is placed beside his granite tomb as hundreds of supporters attend a mass at his graveyard Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, a day after Marcos was buried in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony at the Heroes' Cemetery in suburban Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines. Long-dead Marcos was buried Friday at the country's Heroes' Cemetery in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony, a move approved by President Rodrigo Duterte that infuriated supporters of the "people power" revolt that ousted Marcos three decades ago. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez 

MANILA, NOVEMBER 28, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Edu Punay and Janvic Mateo November 23, 2016 - Separate protests are being set as the Supreme Court (SC) has again deferred action on the pleadings of martial law victims after its decision earlier this month allowing the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Critics of the burial are seeking a united front even as rallies will be conducted on different dates to protest the surprise interment last Friday.

SC spokesman Theodore Te bared the justices tackled during session yesterday the petition for contempt and urgent motion for exhumation of Marcos’ reported remains but decided to reset their deliberations to next Tuesday.

He did not give a reason for the deferment, but an insider said that the member-in-charge of the case, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, who also penned the ruling on the burial, was on wellness leave.

READ MORE...

EDCEL LAGMAN's GROUP

Last Monday, the group of petitioners led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman asked the SC in an urgent motion to order the government to exhume Marcos’ remains at the heroes’ cemetery as a penalty for the “premature, void and irregular” interment carried out by the Marcos family, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of National Defense (DND) before they could file an appeal.

Lagman’s group also urged the high court to order examination of the remains exhumed from the tomb in order to determine with certainty that the “mortal remains” of the buried Marcos were not any artifact or wax replica.

Another group of petitioners led by former Bayan Muna party-list representative Satur Ocampo also filed a petition seeking to cite the Marcos heirs and government officials in contempt of court for proceeding with the burial even if the SC ruling has not yet become final.

It was the second time the high court deferred action on pleadings of petitioners in this case.

When the SC handed down the ruling allowing the burial, Lagman and Ocampo filed urgent motions seeking to temporarily suspend the Marcos burial until the decision became final.

They asked the high court to re-issue the status quo ante order, which was lifted in the SC decision, in order not to render moot the motion for reconsideration of the court decision that they intended to file.

In the high court’s session last Nov. 15, the justices also decided to reset deliberations on the motions due to absence of four justices.

With lack of action from the SC, the burial of Marcos proceeded last Nov. 18.

SC RULING IMMEDIATELY EXECUTORY

Solicitor General Jose Calida has defended the government for proceeding with the burial, saying the SC decision was immediately executory.

Calida said the DND and AFP could not be cited for contempt because they did not violate any order of the SC in proceeding with the burial on the date set by the heirs of Marcos.

Calida stressed that the lifting of the status quo ante order gave the DND and AFP the go-signal for the implementation of President Duterte’s order for Marcos’ burial at LNMB.

The top government lawyer also dismissed the other petition of martial law victims seeking to exhume the Marcos remains. “That is unchristian. I don’t think the SC will allow that,” Calida said.

Calida added the plan of petitioners to appeal the ruling of the high court would be a long shot, considering the clear margin in the 9-5 voting of the justices on the case. – Non Alquitran, Delon Porcalla, Artemio Dumlao

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Former presidents’ inaction to blame on Marcos burial case — DU30 Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 26 November 2016 00:00



President Rodrigo Duterte practically put the blame on his predecessors, saying they had the “golden” opportunity to act on the Marcos burial issue, but just left it at that.

“They had about — the mother and his son then — six, six (equals) 12. Twelve golden years to do it, now you’re up to it (facing the dilemma)” he stressed.

The Chief Executive was referring former President Benigno Aquino, and his mother, the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

He also defended his decision to allow late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), maintaining that he was only following the law.

“Why didn’t they (former presidents) clarify this? Because they didn’t wish to gamble on this issue. Many of them were really afraid of what? The dissent?

“But as long as the law is there... Well, the Supreme Court (allowed) it.”

The High Court denied the petitions seeking to block the late strongman’s burial at the heroes’ cemetery which led to his burial at the Libingan last November 18.

Duterte said he could not really renege on the mandate of the law.

“We cannot have a different interpretation because it simply says that a soldier and a former President are qualified to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani... I am trained to follow simply the law.
No time limit for protests

Duterte earlier assured that he would allow protesters to stage mass actions against the burial of the late strongman at the LNMB “in all open public places for as long as they want, with no time limit” and even without their securing a permit.

GOVT MILITARY, COPS WON'T INTERFERE WITH  PEACEFUL PROTEST

He also assured that government military and police forces would not interfere while the protest rallies are being staged.

“All of the decisions that I have made and still have to make are always guided by the common good and the general welfare of the people. Be it in foreign affairs or in the domestic front, all actions of the government will be always driven by the desire and to resolve and advance the national interest,” Duterte said.

“Consistent with these valued principles, let me assure you that while protest actions are being staged, our military forces will remain and be confined in their camps. They are restricted to be there in their proper places,” he added.

In the meantime, only a lean number of police officers will be deployed whose role will be limited to traffic enforcement and the basic public policy standards.

“They (police) are prohibited from carrying long firearms. The purpose of all these is to assure public peace,” the President said.

RIGHTS TO FREE SPEECH

The President assured the organizers that their rights to free speech would be protected.

“To paraphrase what was said: I may not agree with what you say, but I will protect your right to say it. That is our democracy,” he said.

“As your President, you have my word and you have that commitment,” he said.

But despite all these, the Chief Executive said that he stands by his decision to allow the burial of Marcos at the LMNB and even offered to relinquish the presidency if they could disprove two key issues on the burial.

“To all the protest organizations, let me throw this simple proposition to you. I will gladly and happy even to step down and relinquish my post if you can answer in the negative these two key questions: Was the late Ferdinand Marcos a President and was he a soldier?” he asked.

RIZAL PARK PROTEST


BLACK FRIDAY PROTEST VS MARCOS BURIAL: Protesters converge at the Rizal Park after marching from various parts of Metro Manila on Friday. Martial Law victims and anti-Marcos activists protested the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last November 18. COURTESY OF ABS-CBN

Protesters yesterday showed up at Rizal Park to air their opposition to Marcos burial at the Libingan.

“Today youth and students and people from all walks of life unite to hold the Duterte regime accountable for giving a hero’s burial to a dictator, plunderer, and human rights violator. Today we link arms to denounce Duterte’s unholy alliance with the Marcoses,” said Anakbayan national chairman Vencer Crisostomo.

A separate group, meanwhile, countered the anti-Marcos protest in Rizal Park, showing support to Duterte’s and the SC’s decision in allowing the burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

‘Forget the hate’


NOGRALES: 'BURY THE HATCHET' -FORGET THE HATE...

As the both pro and anti-Marcos forces staged rallies just adjacent to each other, Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles yesterday appealed to both camps to bury the hatchet, saying Duterte wants the nation to “forget the hate” that divided the nation for so long and this is why he is reaching out to all political forces in the country in an attempt to consolidate a united front in the fight against crime, drugs, corruption and poverty.

He added even during the campaign period, Duterte already declared his intention to allow the burial of Marcos at the LNMB.

“President Duterte has been very consistent. His position on this matter has been very clear from day one, not because he is pro-Marcos but because he is committed to end the hate that many of our countrymen have toward their fellow Filipinos. I think that we should follow suit and use #forgetthehate as our national hashtag,” Nograles said.

He stressed that while those who feel aggrieved have the right to peacefully protest the Marcos burial, they must also look at the bigger picture of setting an example for those who have fallen victims to government clashes with the communist insurgency and the Moro separatists who have been waging war against the government for more than three decades now.

“If we follow the argument that there should be no forgiveness without justice, I wonder how we could ever move forward given the tens of thousands of people, including government soldiers and policemen who were killed by insurgents. President Duterte wants this cycle of hate to stop so that we all can have a fresh start,” Nograles said.

He added that apart from his commitment to win the war against illegal drugs, Duterte also wants the entire nation to start with a clean slate by fostering tolerance and understanding and work together in forging a progressive and peaceful nation.

“President Duterte clearly spelled out his forget-the-hate campaign during his inaugural speech and in his first State of the Nation Address. The President believes that the only way for us to achieve peace is for us to forget the hate that we feel toward the people who may have caused us anguish and injury. Justice will come, but we have to forgive first and stop the hate so that we can move forward as a nation and as a people,” Nograles said. Charlie V. Manalo and PNA

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Erap: ‘I would have buried Marcos’ BY JAIME PILAPIL, TMT ON NOVEMBER 27, 2016 TOP STORIES


Manila Mayor and former President Joseph Estrada on Saturday called the protest actions against the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani “a waste of time. GMA NEWS FILE PHOTO

MANILA Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada said he would have buried the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani when he was president, but wasn’t able to do so because his term was cut short.

Estrada said that when he was president, he had finalized plans with the Marcos family to bury the late president at the Libingan.

Like Marcos in 1986, Estrada was ousted by a “people power” uprising on EDSA in 2001.

Estrada urged anti-Marcos protesters to stop their rallies, saying they were just wasting their time.

He gave the advise despite allowing the so-called “Black Friday” rallies that saw hundreds of protesters against the November 18 Marcos burial converge in various locations in Manila and several provinces.

“They’re just wasting their time. Instead they should look for…how they can help build our country,” he said.

“He (Marcos) is already dead. He’s dead. And as Christians, we have no authority anymore to judge a dead person,” he added.

He said he allowed anti-Marcos groups to stage street demonstrations in Manila even without rally permits, only because it was directed by President Rodrigo Duterte, who allowed the Marcos interment.

In August, Estrada said he was in favor of Marcos’ burial at the Libingan, saying Filipinos should learn to move on and respect the dead.

During Marcos’ reign, Estrada was mayor of San Juan from 1969 until the 1986 revolt that ousted the late dictator.

When Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency in 1986, all elected officials of the local government, including Estrada, were removed and replaced by appointed officers in charge.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

WITHOUT ’COMPASSION AND SENTIMENT’ Duterte says Marcos-burial decision made objectively Published November 27, 2016 1:58am

President Rodrigo Duterte, during a speech Saturday at the San Beda Law Grand Alumni Homecoming in Taguig City, again defended his decision to allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, arguing that it was made objectively and without "compassion and sentiment."

"You just have to understand my position. We [lawyers] are trained with cold neutrality," Duterte explained to his fellow law school alumni, some of whom he conceded did share his views. "You should not allow compassion, and sentiment, whatever, to taint your judgment."

The president added that he knew from the beginning that he would have to deal with Marcos' burial if he became the chief executive. He thus took the time to study the matter, and made his decision clear during the presidential debates - that he would allow the interment at the LNMB

According to Duterte, the regulations were unequivocal. "Eh, nakalagay doon, eh: president, soldier. Whether true or not, that's not my business to dig into the history. Whether or not he became good or bad, or worse, along the years, that is not for me to decide."

READ MORE...

The president also clarified that he did not have a special friendship with the Marcos family, and he in no way felt beholden to them. "It's not because of the Marcoses. 'Bati-system' lang, there's nothing close. We never had any dinner together, except one or two. Wala akong ano," he explained.

Duterte also pointed out that his mother had led protests and had marched against the dictatorship. The only reason that she did not end up being arrested was because his father had been Davao province's governor.

The president recounted that Davao, during his father's governorship, was one huge province, but was later broken up into several smaller provinces.

"When my father died - gerrymandering. So everybody was given his territory... Rabat, asawa niya malapit kay Imelda, got Oriental. Danding Cojuanco and the Almendrases got Davao Sur. Davao del Norte was given to the Florendos," Duterte recalled.

"So it's all politics. Philippines is all politics," concluded the president. "Well because we are a political country. We elect leaders."

Duterte's speech at the alumni homecoming came a day after thousands gathered at the Luneta for a "Black Friday" rally, which protested the LNMB burial given that it honored a dictator, plunderer, and human rights violator as recognized by the legislative and judicial branches of government. — DVM, GMA News

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RELATED HEADLINES FROM THE USA, ST. LOUIS STAR

Filipinos fail to make peace with Marcos’ burial in the Heroes’ Cemetery, demonstrations continue demanding the body’s removal - St Louis Star
St Louis Star Volume 333/14St Louis Star http://www.stlouisstar.com1:56 PM Sunday 27 November 2016
St Louis News Breaking International News Missouri News US St Louis Star

Filipinos fail to make peace with Marcos’ burial in the Heroes’ Cemetery, demonstrations continue demanding the body’s removal

• President Duterte said he wouldn’t try to stop protesters
• Marcos’ body was buried at Heroes’ Cemetery last week
• Activists accused Marcos for massive corruption and human rights violation during his tenure

MANILA, Philippines - Thousands of Filipino demonstrators gathered at several locations across the country on
 Friday afternoon to protest against the secret burial of former President Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani aka Heroes’ Cemetery last week.

The burial took place following a Supreme Court order on November 8.

The court had argued that Marcos deserved a proper burial at the Heroes’ Cemetery for his service as a President and a soldier of the country.

The former leader, who was a lawyer, a politician, and a World War II veteran served as the country’s President between 1965 and 1986 and was ousted following the People Power Revolution. He was forced into exile in the United States, where he died in 1989.

During his tenure, Marcos had reportedly amassed an estimated $10 billion worth wealth hidden from the public eye.
An inquiry commission found him guilty of killing tens of thousands of communist rebels and political enemies at the time.

After his death, his family returned to the Philippines where they managed to make a comeback to political power in Marcos' home province of Ilocos Norte.

His daughter, Imee Marcos supported President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment during the election and in return, Duterte promised to give Marcos a proper burial.

Many groups have claimed that Marcos did not deserve a burial ceremony like any national hero, as activists accused him for massive corruption, rape, torture, abductions, disappearances and murders of political opponents in his two-decade term.

However, the burial had the support of Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, who was criticised for the move.

Duterte said he would not talk about the sentiment of protesters but he wouldn’t try to stop them. He said, "I may disagree, but I will defend their rights.”

Until last week, Marcos’ body was kept in a burial chamber at his home. In the past, other governments did not push for the burial ceremony because of public pressure.

The main movement against the burial was announced at the Rizal Park in Manila.

Protesters even came out in droves, holding banners and placards that read ‘Marcos no hero’ and ‘You can't bury the truth’ as hundreds of militants joined the Black Friday protest in Bacolod City.

PROTESTORS MOSTLY FROM BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN

The demonstrators were mostly from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros group.

They marched from the San Sebastian Cathedral up to the Fountain of Justice while shouting, "Marcos, Hitler, Diktador, Tuta” which meant Marcos, Hitler, Dictator, Puppet.

A group of protesters said, "The Marcosian ideology is a governance framework justifying strongman rule, that it cannot go wrong, that it cannot be doubted, because the ruler has 'all the best intentions' for country and people."

In another anti-Marcos protest in Bicol, protesters used a funeral car, which carried nine people as representatives of the nine Supreme Court Associate Justices, who won the majority to support the burial ceremony by nine votes to five.

Several other students gathered at Luneta to mark their anger against the secret burial and battled rains to continue their protest.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes said, “We were being trolled. We were being intimidated,” and added that in spite of the ‘misinformation’ online, he was glad to see people coming out in droves.

Reyes added, “Despite all their dirty tricks, the people still came out. They wanted to be seen here, they wanted to be counted, among the many voices opposing the Marcos burial. I think is very significant because this gives us a preview of what is to come, that the people will not sit idly by and allow a Marcos restoration. Because suddenly the prospects of having another Marcos at the highest position in government has gotten very very real after the Supreme Court decision. The people here are the only thing standing between the Marcoses and Malacanang.”
Some agitated Filipino students, dressed with blue masks on their faces, expressed their objections on the Supreme Court’s order by holding placards and made a demand for the removal of Marcos’ body from the cemetery.

UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES STUDENTS

An "Oblation Run" also was staged by the students.

Toby Roca, spokesman of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity said, "This run is a manifestation of our anger against what we see as the Marcoses trying to revise history, trying to revive their name.”

However, a group called ‘Duterte youth’ gathered in support of the president and Supreme Court’s order to bury Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery with a huge banner in support of the decision.


MANILA TIMES COMMENTARY

Closure is in the living and not the dead BY ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS ON NOVEMBER 24, 2016 ANALYSIS


PROF ANTONIO CONTRERAS
 

THE burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani could never provide closure to the horrors of martial law, for which he was the chief architect. It will never put an end to the search for justice.

And even if Marcos were denied such burial, it will still not extinguish the hate.

Even if Kiko Pangilinan makes good his threat to exhume the body if the LP returns to power, this inhumanity will only satisfy the thirst to exact vengeance, but it will never stop the search for truth.

Nothing can put an end to the search for truth, except truth itself.

The torture, rape and murder of people who challenged the state by choosing to fight for the communist ideology, and those who were suspected of being their sympathizers, and the pain and suffering that such caused their families and loved ones, could never be assuaged by just settling for financial restitution.

Compensatory justice can never be enough, and focusing on it does not serve the interest of truth since it does not reveal the human agents that caused the horrors. If at all, the crimes associated with martial law are now being paid for by the state from the Marcos loot, or whatever is recovered from it.

READ MORE...

It becomes a burden for all, for the monies stolen are in fact stolen from state coffers, and should therefore go back to the state and be spent for all Filipinos, and not be used only as compensation for those who suffered under martial law.

This is the problematic nature of justice in the form of indemnification.

It only monetizes the horror, passes the burden to all citizens who could have been beneficiaries of projects for which the monies would have been otherwise spent, but it will never reveal truth for the purpose of punishing the criminal. Truth has been merely reduced to evidence of victimization so that one can claim compensation.

This kind of truth rested on the premise that martial law atrocities could all be singularly attributed to one man alone, its chief architect, the hated dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.

For many, it was enough to hold Marcos accountable, and to write the tales of horror as one that only Marcos could be accused of. Never mind if in the 21 years of Marcos rule, nine of which were under martial law, there were others who were as involved, if not more, in the enforcement of its terror.

It was indeed puzzling why after the fall of the dictator there was no attempt to have a systematic inquiry into the atrocities, with the purpose of having a detailed accounting of the culpable individuals, and to ascertain the chain of command for every recorded case of rape, torture, murder and forced disappearances.

What was obviously widely adhered to as the convenient truth was that only Marcos could be held liable for everything.

EFFORTS FOCUSED ON RECOVERING STOLEN WEALTH

This is a pattern that is so uncharacteristic of the experience of other countries who dealt with the aftermath of mass violence, genocide and war crimes, where war crime tribunals, truth commissions, or genocide courts were established to precisely identify and punish the agents who were responsible for the atrocities.

Twelve years of the post-Marcos era had an Aquino for President, and yet none of those years was devoted to a systematic effort to look for truth, and ascertain the accountability for the horrors that happened during the Marcos years, including those that happened during martial law.

There was a Commission on Human Rights established from the 1987 Constitution, yet no single person was brought to court and jailed for a martial law-related crime.

Efforts were focused on recovering the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

CRONYISM

It is in this where the word “crony” has found a niche in our martial law discourse. Cronyism was defined in the context of amassing wealth. But there is no word that emerged that applies to those who collaborated and were complicit in the terrors that were unleashed.

“Marcos and his cronies” emerged as the phrase used to refer to the agents of plunder. But what we have for the rape, torture and murder is only Marcos. No Enrile. No Ramos and his men.

This is precisely why there will never be closure.

This is because every rape, torture and murder remains unsolved, as it was conveniently implied only into this monster that is now being imaged in our history as the repository of all guilt, as written by those who benefit from its simplification.

And even until now, his burial is treated as if it is the Archimedian point for the betrayal of truth and justice.

If we need to have closure, there is a need to forget about the corpse of Marcos, and begin to look for truth found in the testimonies of those who suffered. Name those who raped, tortured and killed, and if they are still alive, bring them to justice.

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RELATED FROM THE MANIULA STANDARD

Coup fears eased amid anti-FM protests posted November 25, 2016 at 10:01 pm by Joel E. Zurbano and John Paolo Bencito


BLACK FRIDAY. Protesters, clad in black, march under light rains Friday to mount what they expect would be the largest expression of outrage thus far against former President Ferdinand Marcos’ burial on Nov. 18 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani—with President Duterte reacting, quoting English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’—an endorsement of the principle of freedom of speech. Lino Santos

THOUSANDS of protesters joined the “Black Friday” rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila Friday to voice their opposition to the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani two weeks ago.

The Palace said Friday it was not alarmed about any possible destabilization attempts, even after President Duterte issued an order restricting soldiers to their barracks in the wake of massive anti-Marcos rallies in various parts of the country.


Activists, from left, Bonifacio Ilagan, Neri Colmenares, Saturnino Ocampo, and attorney Ephraim Cortez hold documents after filing a petition at the Supreme Court seeking to hold the Marcos' heirs and officials in contempt for carrying out the burial even before the highest court had heard final appeals against it Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. The late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony at the Heroes' Cemetery Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez PHILSTAR FILE.

Former senator Rene Saguisag, and former Bayan Muna Party-list lawmakers Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares joined multi-sectoral groups as protesters, all wearing black, came separately from Taft Avenue and Liwasang Bonifacio and gathered at the grandstand.

A spokeswoman for the police, Kimberly Molitas, said there were no untoward incidents as of 5 p.m.

Various youth groups led by Anakbayan, Kabataan Party-list, League of Filipino Students, National Union of Students of the Philippines, and College Editors Guild of the Philippines also marched to Mendiola before proceeding to the anti-Marcos protest at Luneta Park.

Mass actions were also held at the University of the Philippines Diliman and Katipunan, UP Manila, Polytechnic University of Manila, and the University Belt along Morayta and Mendiola.

“Today youth and students and people from all walks of life unite to hold the Duterte regime accountable for giving a hero’s burial to a dictator, plunderer, and human rights violator. Today we link arms to denounce Duterte’s unholy alliance with the Marcoses,” said Anakbayan National chairman Vencer Crisostomo.

Protest centers were also set in various major schools and roads in Metro Manila. The groups marched to Mendiola noon before heading to Luneta Park later in the afternoon.

The mass actions caused traffic congestion along the University Belt on C.M. Recto Avenue and other main roads in Metro Manila.

“We strongly condemn the Duterte regime for burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This only exposes the prevalent fascist mindset in the state which sings praises to a dead dictator and sees nothing wrong with massive human rights abuses, repression of civil liberties, and state terror,” said Crisostomo.

Crisostomo cited a report by rights group Karapatan that documented 16 cases of political killings and another 16 cases of frustrated murder since Duterte came to power on June 30.

The same report mentions over 13,000 victims of forced evacuations of civilian communities under Duterte, many of which are farmers and minorities.

“What’s worse, military operations are now disguised as part of ‘peace and development’ and the ‘war on drugs.’ The continuation of Oplan Bayanihan tramples on the essence of the peace talks between the Duterte regime and the NDFP and the unilateral ceasefire declared by both sides,” said Crisostomo.

“No genuine change came after the EDSA uprising, allowing ruling elites like the Aquinos, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo, and now Duterte to make political accommodation with the Marcoses and pave their return to power. State fascism and human rights abuses continue up to this very day,” said Crisostomo.


PHOTO  RENE SAGUISAG -Rene Saguisag practiced law as a prominent human rights lawyer in the Philippines from 1972 to 1986. He also became a spokesman for then president elect Corazon Aquino beginning on January 22, 1986.(Wikipedia) Metro Manila News -- (CNN Philippines) — A former senator and lawyer who defended human rights victims during the rule of Ferdinand Marcos placed blame on President Rodrigo Duterte for the surprise burial of the dictator in the heroes' cemetery. "He cannot believe that he did not know this," Rene Saguisag told "The Source" on Tuesday. "He had not done anything to sanction those who did it," Saguisag said, referring to the military and police who coordinated with the Marcos family on their request to bury the former strongman on November 18. Saguisag said police and military should be accountable.. COURTESY OF CNN PHILIPPINES NOVEMBER 22, 2016.

“No change will come under the Duterte regime if it continues to lavish praise on the Marcoses and persists in looking up to the dead dictator’s fascist ways as role model. Real justice for the victims of Martial Law can only be secured by fighting a rotten system that organizes fascism and rights abuses against the people,” Crisostomo added.

MARCOS FAMILY ASKING FOR UNITY, CLOSURE

The Marcos family earlier asked the people to unite amid the ongoing series of protests following the burial of the former president, which took the public by surprise a few days after the Supreme Court decided to allow the burial at the Libingan.

“Let my father’s burial be the first day amongst many days of our continuing to work for the unity and the progress of our country,” said Marcos’ namesake and only son former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The senator said it was his father’s fervent wish that when he came to the end of his days, that he be buried in a simple soldier’s ceremony.

“This was in keeping with his idea that he was but a soldier doing his duty, a citizen serving his country. We have waited 27 years to fulfill that wish that he left us with. But we are here today and we are able to grant him that wish,” he said.

On Nov. 8, the Supreme Court voted 9-5 to junk the petitions seeking to bar the interment of Marcos at the Libingan because of the state-sanctioned human rights violations that occurred during his 21-year rule.

NOT A HERO, BUT A SOLDIER , A FORMER PRESIDENT - DUTERTE

President Rodrigo Duterte said that Marcos, who served the country for more than three decades, should be buried at the Libingan, not because he is a hero but because he was a soldier.

“The issue about Marcos’ burial at the Libingan has created division amongst our people. Almost all Ilocanos have bad feelings about that,” he said. “If you don’t want to call him a hero, then just think of him as a soldier.”

Duterte said it is important to settle the matter soon because it has been simmering for a long time.

The Supreme Court decision was a fulfillment of the promise Duterte made in February while he was campaigning in Marcos’ home province of Ilocos Norte, where he won in the race for the presidency with more than 100,000 votes, or 39 percent of all votes cast.

He said allowing the burial for the former president would help unite the country.

“I think that’s reading too much. We are just simply saying that the military should have not have been outside, and that we don’t want them [the military] to be obstacles to public demonstrations,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

Abella denied that the order restricting soldiers to barracks was part of ‘loyalty checks’ to suppress any possible destabilization attempts.


ABELLA

“It’s exactly the opposite. I think [the President] entrusts the public to be able to handle themselves properly and is allowing for them to go to public protests,” he said.

On Thursday, a security expert warned that the planned indignation rallies by anti-Marcos forces, were part of a larger scenario--the destabilization of the incumbent administration.

The expert, who spoke on condition he would not be identified, said authorities were cautiously conducting an in-depth assessment of events preceding the interment of Marcos on Nov. 18.

Previous destabilization efforts during past administrations needed the support of the military.

Upon returning to the country following his attendance to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Peru, Duterte directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel to avoid mingling with the crowd during rallies.

“Consistent with these valued principles, let me assure you that while protest actions are being staged, our military forces will remain confined in their camps,” Duterte said.

To prevent any critical movement, Duterte said that only a lean number of police personnel will be kept in protest centers.

“Their role shall be limited to traffic enforcement and the basic policy standards. They are prohibited from carrying long firearms,” he added.

PNP National Capital Region Police Office Director Oscar Albayalde said the police would exercise “maximum tolerance” in dealing with the protesters.

COMMUNIST PARTY

On Friday, the Communist Party of the Philippines demanded that Duterte reverse the “historical wrong” of burying President Marcos in the heroes’ cemertery.

In a statement, the CPP rejected Duterte’s legal justification of his order to give Marcos a hero’s burial.

“Duterte can propound a thousand legal questions and he would not get to the meat of the matter because the issue of exalting Marcos as a hero is way beyond the realm of what is legal or not,” said the CPP.

“By exalting Marcos with a hero’s burial, Duterte showed utter insensitivity and disrespect to the tens of thousands of victims of cruel suppression by the US-backed Marcos dictatorship and the collective suffering of the Filipino people under its rule of unmitigated plunder,” the communist group added.

The CPP likewise urged the protesters to demand the Duterte regime to reverse the historical wrong it committed against the people and demand an end to all the legacies of martial law.

“By protesting the hero’s burial of Marcos, the Filipino people, especially the younger generation, are demonstrating how they have not forgotten the brutalities and crimes of the Marcoses,” they added.

Duterte again defended his decision and blamed two Aquino presidents who did nothing about the issue during their terms.

“We cannot have a different interpretation because it simply says that a soldier and a former President are qualified to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Duterte said in a media briefing at Zamboanga City.

“I am trained to follow simply the law. It was a simple matter of amending the law and they [the Aquinos] had about...12 golden years to do it,” he said.

FIGHT BETWEEN 2 FAMILIES

Duterte earlier described the clash over the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as a “fight between two families” and blamed President Corazon Aquino and her son President Benigno Aquino III for doing nothing to change the rules governing the Libingan.

But the leftist farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Friday accused Duterte of “subverting history and conniving with the Marcoses.”

“Today’s broad peoples’ protests should serve as a warning to the government to heed the public outcry against historical revisionism. President Duterte should stop his ‘dangerous liaison’ with the Marcos family or face wider public outrage and protests,” said Joseph Canlas, KMP chairman.

“This is beyond the issue of burial per se. This is about giving justice to all the victims of Martial Law and correcting the historical wrong that those who usurp political power, plunder the national coffers and violate human rights can get away scot-free and even rise back to power and to Malacanang,” the peasant leader added, referring to former senator Marcos.

“Imelda, Imee, Bongbong, Irene and all the living Marcos heirs are without remorse of their family’s plundering of more than $10 billion in taxpayers’money. The Marcoses and their cronies including Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco Jr., continue to enrich themselves from their ill-gotten wealth. The P75-billion coco levy fund has yet to be returned to small coconut farmers, more than 40 years after Marcos exacted the levy,” said Canlas.

A House leader on Friday defended President Duterte’s move to allow the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

FORGET THE HATE, FORGIVE

Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei said Duterte wants the nation to “forget the hate” that divided the nation for so long and this is why he is reaching out to all political forces in the country in an attempt to consolidate a united front in the fight against crime, drugs, corruption and poverty. With Sandy Araneta and Maricel V. Cruz


INQUIRER

Bigger protests vs Marcos burial set By: Inquirer Staff - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:29 AM November 21, 2016


PROTEST SCENES Concerned citizens (left photo) who are outraged by Friday’s burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani continue their protest on Sunday at the Edsa People Power Monument. In Legazpi City,millennials (right photo) take to the streets to condemn the surprise interment. —GRIG C.MONTEGRANDE, GEORGE GIO BRONDIAL

A broad protest movement is set to greet President Rodrigo Duterte on his return on Friday to show the people’s indignation over the furtive burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City amid demands that the Supreme Court order an exhumation.

“We’re laying it on him because no matter how we look at it, the process started with his pronouncement that if he becomes President, he’s going to allow the burial,” Bonifacio Ilagan, convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma), told the Inquirer on Sunday.

The President is currently in Lima, Peru, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Ilagan said Marcos’ burial on Friday at Libingan was a direct affront to the victims of martial law and the activists who fought against the dictatorship.

READ MORE...

“While we are personally affected, at the end of the day, we ponder on its implication to the present and the future, the next generation who will live under the impression that the Marcos regime could be honored like that,” said Ilagan, also the vice chair of a group of former political detainees.

MARCOS FAMILY, PHILIPPINE ARMY IN CONTEMPT

National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) secretary general Edre Olalia said his group will file their motion in the Supreme Court today to cite in contempt the Marcos family and officials of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police and that they be fined and imprisoned.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman is likewise filing today a similar motion in the high tribunal, calling the Libingan burial premature, precipitate and irregular.

“The burial showed that the true colors and attitude of the Marcoses have not changed. They are so used to deceiving, lying to and abusing our country,” he said in a radio interview.

Olalia, who represents former Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares in the petition against the burial, slammed the “premature execution” of the court’s Nov. 8 decision, which he said was not yet final.

Olalia said court rules allow them 15 days to appeal the decision. Since they received an official copy on Nov. 11, they supposedly have until Nov. 26 to file a motion for reconsideration.

But the Marcoses proceeded with the military interment rites on Nov. 18, sparking spontaneous protests.

Due to the turn of events, Olalia said the NUPL will not only ask the Supreme Court to overturn its decision allowing the burial but also order the exhumation “and probably even exorcism” of the dictator’s remains from Libingan.

Solicitor General Jose Calida said he did not think the court would grant the motion, noting the “landslide” 9-5-1 vote of the magistrates supporting Mr. Duterte’s directive to allow the burial at Libingan 23 years after the dictator’s body was returned to the Philippines.

Marcos died in exile in Hawaii three years after his ouster in the Edsa People Power Revolution in 1986. His body had been preserved at a mausoleum in his Batac hometown.

Marcos style

Calida said the court’s decision was deemed “immediately executory” and that there was “no legal basis” for the appeals or the contempt demands.

Ilagan said Carmma was touching base with all institutions, organizations and individuals who issued statements against the burial to make the protest encompassing.

The details are still being ironed out, although they are looking at Luneta Park in Manila and Ayala Avenue in Makati City, he said.

“We’re hoping the crowd will be really big and we want this to have a different atmosphere. We want this to be neutral, encompassing all sectors,” Ilagan said. “I suppose it’s going to be a whole day affair, there will be small rallies in various places then at some point we will all meet.”

Ilagan said Mr. Duterte’s partiality to the Marcos family created an environment favorable to the concept of a one-man rule.

“The implication of the burial is the revival of the Marcosian ideology, that we need one strong person to rule and he cannot be questioned because he has all the best intentions,” Ilagan said, agreeing that this was similar to Mr. Duterte’s leadership style.

Nationwide protests

Protests also are planned in the provinces next week.

“Definitely, there will be more and bigger protests against this insult against the people, especially those who suffered torture and kin of those who died or remain missing fighting the Marcos dictatorship,” said Reylan Vergara, secretary general of the human rights group, Panay Alliance Karapatan.

Vergara said various groups and martial law survivors in Iloilo, Aklan, Antique and Capiz provinces would join nationwide protests set on Nov. 25 and Nov. 30.

“We are inspired by the groundswell of protest especially with many of our youth at the forefront,” said Elias Guiloreza, chair of Samahan ng mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto in Panay.

“The youth were also at the forefront in protest against the rule of Marcos especially just before martial law was declared. Now our young people are again the most active in condemning his treacherous burial,” said Guiloreza, 65, a former student-activist who was tortured and detained for 19 months.

In Naga City, Ateneo de Naga University students livestreamed videos on social media of students walking out of the university right after the news of the late dictator’s burial broke out on Friday morning.

Roselyn Balmes, the student council president, said at least 1,500 students joined the noise barrage.

Never a hero

Students from University of Nueva Caceres, Universidad de Sta. Isabel, Bicol State College of Applied Science and Technology, and Naga College Foundation also joined the protest chanting that the late President was “never a hero then, never a hero now, and will never be a hero.”

They made their way to Plaza Quezon at the city center where they staged their demonstrations.

In Legazpi City, Albay province, Bicol University’s student council released a statement on social media calling on Bicolanos “to be relentless and vigilant.”

But hackers defaced its website early Sunday after the council called Marcos a “thief, a dictator, and worst of all, a murderer.”

In Daet, Camarines Norte province, militant groups staged a red ribbon protest and noise barrage at the Daet Elevated Plaza on Friday afternoon.

On Saturday, 50 demonstrators from the Kabataang Artista Para sa Tunay na Kalayaan, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights brought placards and mock gravestones at the century-old Alice Bridge in Sorsogon City. —WITH REPORTS FROM ERIKA SAULER, DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN, NIKKO DIZON, REY ANTHONY OSTRIA AND NESTOR BURGOS

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

'Marcos not a hero': Nationwide protests kick off (philstar.com) | Updated November 25, 2016 - 4:40pm 2 207 googleplus0 0


Students shout slogans during a "noise barrage" protest against last week's burial of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016 in Manila, Philippines.
AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The demonstrations against the surreptitious burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery started on Friday afternoon in several locations across the country.

A main event of the "Black Friday" protests held at Rizal Park in Manila attracted droves of protesters from various sectors and universities despite the downpour.

The groups carried posters declaring Marcos a "tyrant" who is "no hero" and condemning President Rodrigo Duterte's order to have the deceased leader laid to rest at the national shrine.

Black Friday protest centers

The crowd at Luneta, clad in black, prepared to burn effigies of Marcos and egged motorists to honk in support of the protests.

In a statement, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang called for a united front to expose "Marcosian ideology" which espoused authoritarianism.

"The Marcosian ideology is a governance framework justifying strongman rule, that it cannot go wrong, that it cannot be doubted, because the ruler has 'all the best intentions' for country and people," the coalition said.

It also criticized Duterte for giving into a "crass political accommodation in the guise of a presidential campaign promise" to have Marcos buried at the Libingan. Marcos has been accused of massive corruption and human rights violations in his two-decade term.

Duterte has ordered the military to stay in their camps and the police to deploy only a lean force for Friday's protests.


View image on Twitter View image on Twitter Follow Calvin Kaiser @kaisrert OTHER YOUTH: EH DI WOW #MarcosBurialProtest #MarcosNOTaHero 2:42 AM - 25 Nov 2016 2 2 Retweets 4 4 likes

Meanwhile, a small group of students who call themselves "Duterte youth" also assembled near the protest site with a long banner declaring support for Duterte's decision to have Marcos buried at the state cemetery.


SCREENGRAB

The Luneta protest is expected to last until late Friday evening. The events are also set to be followed by days of protests in the coming weeks. — Camille Diola; Map by RP Ocampo


MINDANAO NEWS

Duterte to protesters: go ahead, “as long as you want, with no time limit” by: Carolyn O. Arguillas November 24, 2016 5:39 pm A+ / A-


President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech upon arrival near midnight Wednesday in Davao City from the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru. While in Lima, he said, he learned protest actions would greet him upon his return. He said protest actions can be done in “all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit”.

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 November) – Protest actions against what has been termed as the “sneaky burial” of the remains of the deposed dictator Ferdinand Edralin Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18 “shall be allowed in all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit,” President Rodrigo Duterte said near midnight Wednesday upon arrival from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, Peru.

Duterte also said he “will gladly and (be) happy even to step down and relinquish my post” if protesters can “answer in the negative” his two key questions: “was the late Ferdinand Marcos a President and was he a soldier?”

READ MORE...

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech upon his arrival on Wednesday midnight in Davao City from APEC meeting in Peru. “shall be allowed in all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit,”Mindanews Photo President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech upon arrival near midnight Wednesday in Davao City from the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru. While in Lima, he said, he learned protest actions would greet him upon his return.

 He said protest actions can be done in “all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit” and even without a permit. Mindanews Photo “Never mind about (being) a hero,” Duterte said, adding “to document heroism requires history (sic).”

He ordered the military to “remain and be confined in their camps” during the protest actions and the police “shall be limited to traffic enforcement and the basic policy standards,” and are prohibited from carrying long firearms.

Protest actions are expected nationwide, including the President’s Davao City, on Friday, November 25, dubbed “National Day of Rage and Unity” and on National Heroes’ Day on Wednesday, November 30.

Duterte said he learned in Lima that protest actions would greet him on his arrival.

PROTEST ALLOWED IN ALL OPEN SPACES

“Protest action shall be allowed in all open public places for as long as they want with no time limit. The protesters will neither need, hindi na kailangan, to secure rally permits,” noting that the planned protests are “mobile, ambulant and travelling from one jurisdiction to the other.”

He said when protesters pass through different local government units, there might be some LGUs that might deny permits and the marchers might be confronted by the police.

“Eh kung ganong mag-gulo, ako na mismo ang nagsasabi, as President, I assume that responsibility. Again, I will answer for all legal issues there. The purpose is to assure the public peace,” Duterte said.

“To paraphrase what was said: I may not agree with what you say but I will protect your right to say it. That is our democracy,” he said, adding, “as your President, you have my word and you have that commitment.”

“You are asking me to violate the law”

Addressing the “protest organizations,” Duterte said: “All of the decisions that I have made and still have to make are always guided by the common good and the general welfare of the people. Be it in the foreign affairs or in the domestic front, all actions of the government will be always driven by the desire and to resolve, to advance the national interests.”

On the Marcos burial, Duterte said: “I have to decide one way or the other. I cannot decide it in favor of the sentiments (of victims of human rights violations under Marcos’ martial law). Hindi few, marami iyan. But the problem is you are asking me to violate the law.”

“Was Marcos a soldier? Because if he was not, he doesn’t deserve to be there. Was Marcos a President? If he was not, then he should not be there. Was Marcos a coward during the war? That is not my business. We cannot tell. Was (he) a hero?” Duterte asked.

EVIDENCE MARCOS A HERO

Earlier in his speech he said “never mind about (being) a hero,” but in the latter part, Duterte said there is evidence that Marcos was a hero.

“Is there an evidence of him being a hero? Yes. Why? The valor medal. It is not given to almost anybody, even among soldiers and the police. It is really a precious gift from God for you to be considered as you have done something that is extraordinary and beyond the call of duty,” Duterte added.

He said it is not the time to ask if Marcos pulled the trigger and shot the enemy because “I was not there” and that he does not know if he ran away from battle because “I was not there and nobody can give me a positive and definite answer on that. “

The National Historical Commission on July 12 registered its objection to have Marcos buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery, citing Marcos’ questionable military record.

“Mr. Marcos’s military record is fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies, and lies. The rule in history is that when a claim is disproven—such as Mr. Marcos’s claims about his medals, rank, and guerrilla unit—it is simply dismissed. When, moreover, a historical matter is under question or grave doubt, as expressed in the military records about Mr. Marcos’s actions and character as a soldier, the matter may not be established or taken as fact. A doubtful record also does not serve as sound, unassailable basis of historical recognition of any sort, let alone burial in a site intended, as its name suggests, for heroes,” the Executive Summary of the NHC study said.

“Was I elected legally?”

“If you ask me to step down,” Duterte said he will ask the protesters: “Was I elected legally or did I get this mandate to serve by cheating the people? I do not remember of buying votes because I –wala akong pera. I do not remember threatening voters but I threatened the drug lords at ang mga — ang apparatus mismo. What did I tell you? I will declare war and in a war, somebody has to die.”

Asked how he would respond to criticisms he is paving the way for the Marcoses to be back in Malacañang, Duterte replied: “I don’t have anything to put the Marcoses back. I never said it and I will not. ‘Yung election sabi ko baka mabaril. Magastos ang election time, kung mamatay ako, I said it in Ilocos.”

He said he has a right to free expression like the protesters.

He narrated how his mother, Soledad, was a key figure in the Yellow Friday movement to oust the Marocs dictatorship, and that the tendered his resignation thrice but Emmanuel Galicia, the city’s chief prosecutor then turned them down because “I was the only one willing to investigate the rebels and the military and the police,” claiming on other prosecutor wanted these cases because they were “takot sa pulis, takot sa military, takot sa rebelde.”

He said this is why he became friends to the police, military and rebels.

“When my mother was marching down the streets against the Marcos dictatorship, so they say, I was in government and my mother was there on the streets. Sabi ko sa boss ko, ‘Sir, I cannot stop my mother and since I do not want to continue with my services in government, I’ve been here for the last nine years doing trial work everyday. Gusto ko na rin mag-go to practice and make a, make a better income for my family.”

“Eh, bakit ako nag-resign? Well, that would give you an idea of my sentiments at that time, but I could not have stopped my mother from opening her mouth,” Duterte said. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Anti-Marcos burial protesters unite at 'Black Friday' rally By Jim Gomez (Associated Press) | Updated November 26, 2016 - 12:21pm 2 146 googleplus0 0


Students shout slogans during a rally at the Rizal Park, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos, including more than a dozen nude students, protested Friday against the hasty burial of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes' cemetery, in a growing political storm that's lashing the president who allowed the entombment. AP/Aaron Favila

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of Filipinos, including more than a dozen nude students, protested against the hasty burial of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes' cemetery, in a growing political storm that's lashing the president who allowed the entombment.

A few thousand activists joined a "Black Friday" protest despite rainy weather at Manila's seaside Rizal Park, where they carried Marcos' effigy in a mock coffin.

ANGER ALSO DIRECTED TOWARD DUTERTE

While the anger was directed at Marcos and his family, President Rodrigo Duterte was also targeted for allowing the burial of the dictator, who was ousted in a largely peaceful "people power" revolt three decades ago.

Protesters held placards reading "Digong traitor, a lapdog of the dictator," referring to Duterte by his nickname.

Dozens of students trooped outside the presidential palace in Manila in a separate protest and burned an effigy of Marcos in a mock coffin.

At the state-run University of the Philippines, a fraternity turned its annual recruitment ritual into a protest with naked student recruits running with placards that read, "Marcos dictator not a hero."

RECRUITED FRATERNITY STUDENTS RUNNING NAKED WITH PLACARDS

Students belonging to a fraternity at the University of the Philippines, the country's premier state university, display placards as they run naked around the campus to condemn last week's burial of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 in suburban Quezon city, northeast of Manila, Philippines. Long-dead Marcos was buried last Friday at the country's Heroes' Cemetery in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony, a move approved by President Rodrigo Duterte that infuriated supporters of the "people power" revolt that ousted Marcos three decades ago. AP/Bullit Marquez

"This run is a manifestation of our anger against what we see as the Marcoses trying to revise history, trying to revive their name because they have fallen from grace," Alpha Phi Omega fraternity spokesman Toby Roca said. "We are angry that they are trying to ignore our painful history of human rights abuses under his term."

Duterte, whose father served in Marcos's Cabinet, allowed the burial on grounds that there was no law barring his interment at the Heroes' Cemetery, where presidents, soldiers, statesmen and national artists are buried. It was a political risk in a country where democracy advocates still celebrate Marcos's ouster each year.

DUTERTE DECISION UPHELD BY SC

Duterte's decision was upheld earlier this month by the Supreme Court. Marcos opponents had 15 days to appeal the decision, but Marcos's family, backed by Duterte's defense and military officials, buried him in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony with military honors last week at the cemetery.

The stealthy burial enraged democracy advocates and sparked protests in Manila and other cities.

Protest leader Bonifacio Ilagan, a left-wing activist detained and tortured under Marcos, said many protesters are young Filipinos who did not experience the brutalities of the dictatorship but "got assaulted by the surreptitious burial."

Ilagan said he was struck by the message on a placard carried by a college student in a recent rally that said, "If he was a true hero, why was he buried in secrecy?"

SC ASKED TO ORDER EXHUMATION

Human rights victims who suffered under Marcos's rule asked the Supreme Court this week to order the exhumation of his remains and to hold his heirs and Duterte's officials in contempt for their role in burying the body before the court heard final appeals.

Marcos's rule was marked by massive rights violations and plunder. After being ousted in 1986, he flew to Hawaii, where he lived with his wife and children until he died in 1989.

Duterte has allowed the protests to proceed without permits but has stood by his decision to allow the burial. During a speech in southern Zamboanga city, he said he tried to strike a balance by considering the sentiments of many pro-Marcos followers in the dictator's northern political stronghold. He has said that past presidents opposed to the burial should have taken steps to legally prevent it, for example by passing legislation.

Duterte's deadly crackdown on illegal drugs has been widely criticized but has not sparked widespread protests because many crime-weary Filipinos back the effort despite concerns over the killings of many drug suspects, said political analyst Ramon Casiple, the director of a think tank promoting electoral and political reforms.

"Duterte's decision to allow the Marcos burial opened up old wounds," Casiple said.


PHILSTAR HEADLINE COMMENTARY

Commentary: Democratic notes on Marcos burial at Libingan By Dindo Manhit (philstar.com) | Updated November 25, 2016 - 11:06am 1 57 googleplus1 0


In this photo provided by the Office of the Army Chief Public Affairs Headquarters Philippine Army (OACPA HPA), soldiers prepare to fold the flag-draped casket of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos during his burial at the Heroes' Cemetery in Taguig City, east of Manila, Philippines, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Despite growing opposition, after the Supreme Court ruled that one of Asia's most infamous tyrants can be entombed in the hallowed grounds, Marcos was buried Friday at the country's heroes' cemetery in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony which opponents said mocked the democratic triumph won when a "people power" revolt ousted him three decades ago. OACPA HPA via AP

Once again, Philippine society is featured in the pages of world history.

When, in February 1986, the Filipino people stood up for their democracy, we were hailed in different international circles. Our love for our democracy was a distinguishing national character.

Yet, the recent burial of the deposed dictator in a national shrine has raised new questions here in the Philippines and in the international community as well. This incident represents one of the greatest paradoxes in Philippine political history.

READ MORE...

The democracy achieved by the EDSA uprising of 1986 has had its limits exposed. More than anything else, today’s situation demonstrates the remaining democratic deficit in Philippine society.

The symbol of a hero’s burial

The burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) not only immortalizes his “leadership” but deeply ingrains in the minds of the general population his greatness. For the pro-Marcoses, this symbolism vindicates and glorifies the dictator, erasing his ugly deeds.

However, burying a dictator in a heroes’ cemetery could not bury the truth. Despite the claims of public figures, there is a plethora of literature that documents the widespread resistance against the dictator. This literature also exposed and condemned the numerous atrocities and human rights violations of his administration and cohorts. A critical part of the literature further characterizes the collective and personal memories of the people aggrieved during and after Martial Law.

Burying a dictator in a heroes’ cemetery could not bury the truth.

For the anti-Marcoses, the burial symbolizes treachery. It is a historical embarrassment for a people who have selflessly dedicated their lives in the name of social justice. Further, it represents a national falsehood that undermines the development of a national social consciousness—a cognitive element that is critical to nation-building.

Consulting the people directly

The burial of Marcos at the LNMB is not just another legal issue needing government attention and action. It is a national issue that warranted a national consideration. Our institutions and the public officials manning them must maintain the public’s trust.

Whether elected or appointed, the responsible officials and the institutions they represent need to be reminded of their accountability to the people.

These officials could have accorded the Marcos burial issue different forms of consideration. The essence of this consideration lies in consulting the people directly.

Through this process, the whole of society and not the select few can take part in deciding how the government remembers the dictator. The people’s non-participation in the burial decision betrays the importance of this move and the depth of the social divide.

Decision-making for the people is very different from decision-making with the people, and on this matter the government should have pursued the latter.

The people’s non-participation in the burial decision betrays the importance of this move and the depth of the social divide. Institutional weakness and development

PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS

Although President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed the Marcos burial, the people’s protests should not rest on the president’s shoulders alone. Four administrations have passed since the fall of the dictator; to bluntly blame the current president would be politically naïve and a historical.

The complacency or incapacity of past administrations is equally unconscionable. Three decades should have been enough time for the Philippine government to develop and cement an anti-authoritarian character.

NO JUSTICE TO NINOY AQUINO

It is more mind-boggling that the past five administrations could not bring justice to Ninoy Aquino, who was a direct casualty of the Marcos dictatorship. His wife and son, even as presidents, never solved the questions around his assassination. Their incapacity hints at serious institutional constraints in the government. These administrations en toto have been outwitted and out-maneuvered by the Marcoses in all respects.

It is more mind-boggling that the past five administrations could not bring justice to Ninoy Aquino, who was a direct casualty of the Marcos dictatorship.

With their pet economic agendas and often politicized programs, past administrations have also over-emphasized economic growth as the sole driver of economic development.

In some respects, they have overlooked the socio-political welfare of the people, which is a quintessential element of national development. Pronouncements about social and political equality, empowerment and participation were little more than lip-service.

We need to ask: “How can there be prosperity without social justice?’ At the same time, ‘How can there be social justice if there is no prosperity?”

‘Thinking beyond parochial politics’

The presidency oversees the welfare of an entire nation and executes national policies for the welfare of a whole population. It is also the international face of the Filipino, representing the country and the whole of society to the international community. A president is both a national and an international figure.

A president judiciously intervenes in national and international issues and does not meddle in them. Witticisms are not a manifestation of statesmanship, they muddle existing supranational arrangements and agreements. Through concrete policies and definite programs of action, a nation could be led in a clear direction.

The presidency oversees the welfare of an entire nation and executes national policies for the welfare of a whole population.

The Filipino population should not be left in the dark with regard to the unpredictable repercussions of personal and localist remarks that the president has made in the Philippines and while abroad.

Issues of national significance should not be solved through parochial approaches and mentality. On this note, the Filipino people needs a President Duterte and not a Mayor Duterte.

Dindo Manhit is the president of Stratbase-Albert Del Rosario Institute (ADRi) for Strategic and International Studies.

----------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE CNN PHILIPPINES

Robredo: 'Sneak' burial of Marcos insult to Filipino people By CNN Philippines Staff
Updated 11:35 AM PHT Sun, November 20, 2016


Vice President Leni Robredo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Once again, Vice President Leni Robredo slammed former president Ferdinand Marcos' sudden burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

Robredo delivered a strongly worded speech at the Philippine Retail Investors Conference, an event attended by finance professionals, in Pasay City on Saturday.

Like her fierce statement against Marcos' burial, Robredo did not hold back from criticizing the Marcos family in her speech - and in a later interview, said it felt as if Filipinos were cheated again ("ang pakiramdam lang dinaya tayo all over again.")

"We ask ourselves that if everything was anchored in truth, legality and reason, why was there a need to hide a funeral and treat it like a shameful criminal deed? " Robredo said.

Marcos was buried at the LNMB on Friday, in an unannounced private ceremony.

"Stunned ako eh, parang we knew that it was going to happen pero hindi na-imagine na [I didn't imagine] it would be conducted hurriedly at patago [in a hidden manner]. Iyong sa akin lang parang insulto yata iyon sa Filipino people [For me, it seemed like an insult to the Filipino people]."

Robredo was disappointed that the burial happened because "some government agencies participated in disregarding a judicial process."

She reasoned that there was still a 15-day window for filing a motion for reconsideration after the Supreme Court made its decision on November 8.

"We were alarmed by the brazenness of its execution but what is more scary is that a huge part of us was no longer stunned that this was actually happening. Hidden wealth, hidden human rights abuses, and now a hidden burial with complete disrespect for the rule of law," Robredo said.

Robredo likened the Marcos family to "a thief in the night" for withholding information from Filipinos.

Read: 'Like a thief in the night': VP Leni, lawmakers, nation shocked and upset over 'surprise' Marcos burial

Marcos' sudden burial on Friday sparked protests among pro- and anti-Marcos groups.

In her speech, the Vice President said political turmoil hinders economic growth.

ABOUT ECONOMIC GROWTH

Despite the country's growing economy, Robredo said Filipinos must overcome "divisiveness and senseless disregard for rule of law" to sustain the gains the country has made - particularly its current gross domestic product of 7.1 percent.

"The issue of the Marcos burial will always be relevant under a constitution anchored on social justice. We cannot talk seriously about the Philippines' growth prospects without considering as well the depth and scope of our country's history," Robredo said.

She added, "We must honor the memory of those who fought for the country, and demand justice from those who betrayed it."

Robredo, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said efforts must be focused on fighting poverty and improving the country's health, education, and livelihood sectors.

She also said empowering Filipinas could benefit the country economically, but women are undermined through sexist behavior such as catcaling, sexual abuse and harassment, and "glass ceilings in the workplace."

She said the Philippines' seventh-place ranking in the Gender Equality Index only makes it appear that Filipinas "have it better than most" on a surface level.

"Often, we are reduced to our bodies.This is unacceptable. Tasteless remarks and inappropriate advances against women should have no place in our society," Robredo said, repeating her statement on President Rody Duterte' "inappropriate remarks" about her.

Read: Robredo: 'Tasteless remarks, inappropriate advances' have no place in society

The President joked about looking at Robredo's legs during Cabinet meetings.

Duterte defended his remarks: He said it was appropriate and also told the media not to make a big deal about the issue.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.


MANILA STANDARD COMMENTARY

Leni and the tomb raiders posted November 23, 2016 at 12:01 am by Emil Jurado


EMIL JURADO

SANTA Banana, I thought I’d never see in my lifetime a vice president like Leni Robredo so lacking in self-respect and “delicadeza.”

She refuses to resign her Cabinet post as chairperson of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council despite openly criticizing President Duterte’s go-signal to have the remains of former strongman President Ferdinand E. Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

She claims she serves at the pleasure of the President, adding that if the President wants her out, he should say it.

Doesn’t Robredo know that as a member of the Cabinet, she’s supposed to be an alter ego of the Chief Executive? My gulay, obviously not. Robredo is the typical “kapit-tuko.”

I thought all the while that Robredo as a “provinciana” lawyer would be different from her “yellow” gangmates that ruled the country for the past six years. I thought she was angelic, but now it is clear I was wrong.

* * *

There are some clowns parading as victims of Martial Law.

They want to exhume the Marcos grave at the LNMB to find out if it’s really the remains of Marcos that were entombed. Santa Banana, they are out to desecrate the dead!

READ MORE...

Don’t these clowns realize that there is a law preventing the Marcoses from burying a former soldier and a president at the LNMB?

The issue was never about Marcos being a hero. The fact is that he was a soldier and president. Thus, he is qualified to be interred at the Libingan.

My gulay, these clowns even want the Marcoses and everybody responsible for that unannounced burial cited for contempt by the Supreme Court.

Contempt for what?

For complying with the majority decision of the Supreme Court and being in compliance with the law? The gods of Mount Olympus on Padre Faura have given their go-signal. I doubt whether the decision would be reversed.

What worries me though is the silence of the Catholic Church on this circus. They know full well that what the Marcos haters are doing is desecration of the dead.

* * *


FVR describes Duterte as a big disappointment in Peru -- Former president Fidel Ramos described President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘no show’ at the APEC summit gala night as a big disappointment He said the gala night could have been an opportunity for Duterte to exchange views with world leaders The former president pointed out that sickness is an unacceptable alibi to skip an important gathering. Ramos described President Rodrigo Duterte as a big disappointment at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru after the latter’s ‘no show’ at the event’s gala dinner and the shoot for the leaders’ traditional family photo. Earlier, Duterte said that jet lag prevented him from attending the two key events in the regional summit, an article written by Perseus Echeminada on The Philippine Star disclosed, As pointed out by Ramos, that while Duterte and his Cabinet may have thought that the two events are negligible, it could have disappointed the host country. “Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski must be very disappointed,” Ramos was quoted saying Posted on November 22, 2016 by Ruby B Image via official Facebook page of Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines) COURTESY OF KCIKER DAILY ONLINE

Some characters are making an issue out of the non-attendance of the President at the gala dinner and the photoshoot of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Peru. They say it was an insult to the host.

I don’t see it that way. Duterte arrived in Lima from New Zealand, a good 10- or 11- hour flight. He is not used to long flights. And worse, he arrived in Peru at dawn, when he is supposed to be sleeping.

I can only sympathize with him.

* * *

Speaking of leeches in government, the President ordered all the Energy Regulatory Commissioners to resign because of graft and corruption as revealed by an ERC executive in his suicide note.

But the commissioners refuse to do so because they claim they have a fixed tenure and to do so would be an admission of guilt.

This reminds me of that incident when a Philippine National Police (PNP) official refused to resign because of charges of corruption. He had to be carried out of office while sitting on his chair.

Well, the President can always give the ERC a “zero budget” to render the ERC commissioners useless.

Speaking of how pervasive graft and corruption has been embedded in government, Customs Commissioner Nick Faeldon was honest enough to admit that corruption and smuggling continues at the Bureau of Customs.

Past presidents have tried to revamp Customs. How many Customs commissioners have been appointed? Has anything changed?

I admit I cannot offer any solution to this, but I know that some countries have already privatized their customs services. That could be a thought for President Duterte.

* * *

An area where graft and corruption has also been embedded in government is Conditional Cash Transfer, a dole program with an appropriation that has reached P62 billion.

The program is supposed to reduce poverty. It was patterned after programs in some Latin American countries— which later found it self-defeating because it resulted in mendicancy instead of poverty reduction.

Now that President Duterte is on top of the situation, perhaps he could dig deep into the anomalies that went on for the past six years under BS Aquino.

For instance, the Commission on Audit found that some recipients of the dole were not all poor. Some of the money went to alcohol and illegal drugs.

-------------------------------

ALSO FROM THE INQUIRER (OPINION)

The Marcos myth-making continues By: Neni Sta. Romana Cruz - @inquirerdotnet
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:16 AM November 26, 2016


By: Neni Sta. Romana Cruz

Yes, we lament the treachery that took place on Nov. 18, but should we wonder that a dictator’s life full of deceit and deception should include such a ghastly episode, complete with speculations on wax replica or human remains, casket size, and secret chamber?

Only one thing was certain: This non-hero does not belong in the hallowed grounds of the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

But in the midst of our anguish and anger in remembering the countless lives lost during the dark years of martial law came a surprise, a bright ray of hope, in seeing youth groups in protest. How moving to see the brave ones who needed no company to express their disgust.

Were these the same young people who, we feared, did not understand and appreciate recent history—the arduous struggle during the long years of dictatorship and the restoration of democracy with the election of Cory Aquino?

Yes, they are fully aware that the 1986 Edsa Revolution did not change the social structure of Philippine society and that the struggle toward a more equitable society must continue.

Witnessing this gave me a degree of consolation that all was not lost.

'THE GRAVE THIEF'

At times like this, lines from the poet Gemino H. Abad’s “The Grave Thief,” written on Nov. 21, also buoy the flagging spirit.

This excerpt is the next best thing to reprinting the entire poem and to hearing the poet himself say it out loud from memory.

Thus ends this poem that capitalizes on the shades of meaning of the word “grave”:

… a country divided, unhealed,

in the gravity of their memory’s cry:

“Never again!”

Tama na, sobra na, Apocalypse now,

the uncovering, the revelation:

We are the Spirit in our Constitution,

This is our Body, this is our Blood:

We shall prevail!

And so, let the myth-making around the dictator continue for the storylines get thinner and more predictable. And a discerning generation sees the many cracks.

What a stark contrast in character study this November brings: a mock hero like the dictator Marcos and the assassinated hero, Ninoy Aquino, whose 84th birthday we will mark tomorrow. Both were ambitious and polished politicians, but as writer Nelson Navarro described Marcos at his keynote speech at the Philippine PEN Conference early this week, the dictator perfected everything we detested in Philippine politics. With no further need for elaboration, just look at how these two men died and were buried. Can revisionists alter those circumstances?

With the young in mind, I eagerly anticipate the release of the Philippine edition of a Spanish children’s book on dictators where Marcos is prominently featured. This is a nonfiction book, of course—history for young readers.

As long as we continue to empower our students with discovering worlds usually beyond their ken, there remains much promise for their future and that of our country.

Nov. 24-30 is the 82nd National Book Week. Activities will be led by the Philippine Librarians Association Inc. at The National Library, which is still undergoing retrofitting construction—but what a haven it promises for Filipino readers.

It is not well known that in 1937, President Manuel Quezon proclaimed Nov. 24-30 each year as a week of celebration of the book. He described reading as a privileged activity but, more important, a “highly patriotic duty.” His words continue to ring true today for the seemingly simple act of reading and teaching literature has come to signify solidarity with the nation.

The theme of this year’s National Book Week is timely and relevant: “Today’s Readers: Inclusivity in Diversity.” It is cleverly crafted but beyond the rhetoric, must draw our students, our readers, to issues close to their lives, issues that really matter. Therefore, literature that allows them to tell their own stories and leads them to raise questions that make them think deeply is what they have to be immersed in.

Neni Sta. Romana Cruz (nenisrcruz@gmail.com) is chair of the National Book Development Board and a member of the Eggie Apostol Foundation.


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