#MarcosEraARTrocities | Street and social media protests mark dictator’s birth centennial

September 11, 2017 - 4:22 PM
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An image by artist @andoyman to "celebrate" former President Ferdinand Marcos' birth centennial.

MANILA – As the Marcos family celebrated the 100th birth date of former president Ferdinand Marcos Monday at his tomb in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Netizens took to social media to spread their dissent, sharing videos of their street protests and artwork they created to show what the occasion meant to them.

Rodrigo Acuzar posted this piece on Twitter.

Leonard Cusi also made his own contribution to the #MarcosARTrocities thread.

Twitter user @andoyman shared his work, below.

Isis Buxani minced no words as she revealed her thoughts.

Mong Aya was spurred to create something, too.

Bunny Luz flexed her artistic skills for #MarcosARTrocities, as well.

Kathy Yamzon, a member of Sandugo, an alliance of national minorities, gave her Facebook followers a glimpse into the protests at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Photo 1 Yamzon
This poster made the protesters’ call loud and clear. Photo by Kathy Yamzon, Sandugo.
Photo 2 Yamzon
These protesters marched against the suggestion of granting immunity to the Marcoses, whom President Rodrigo Duterte had said were open to returning their ill-gotten wealth to the nation’s coffers. Photo by Kathy Yamzon, Sandugo.
Photo 3 Yamzon
Protesters could not help but see similarities between Marcos’ and Duterte’s rule. Photo by Kathy Yamzon, Sandugo.
Photo 4 Yamzon
Protesters – some of whom were from indigenous groups – also called for the lifting of Martial Law in Mindanao. Photo by Kathy Yamzon, Sandugo.
Photo 5 Yamzon
Protesters marched on despite the rain. Photo by Kathy Yamzon, Sandugo.

Vice President Leni Robredo was also asked for her opinion on the Marcoses’ celebration.

In a transcript of an interview with her during the 40th founding anniversary of Doña Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan, furnished by the Office of the Vice President, she said that every family had the right to honor their dead in the manner they saw fit.

But for Marcos’ birth centennial to be declared a holiday was akin to forgetting all the atrocities committed during his rule.

Parang nire-revise iyong kuwento, nire-revise iyong kasaysayan, na hindi naman dapat… Kasi iyong kasalanan sa bansa, hindi pa iyon napapawi, lalung-lalo na kasi iyong mga ninakaw sa ating bayan ay hindi pa nababalik. Hindi naman kanila iyon. Pera iyon ng taumbayan. Na kung sinasabi mong mahal mo talaga iyong bayan, sana may pagsisisi at pagpapakita ng—alam mo iyon?—iyong desire na magbago, iyong pag-amin ng kasalanan, pagpakita na talagang pinagsisisihan iyong ginawa (It’s like they’re revising the story, revising history, which they shouldn’t be doing… Because the sins committed against the country still haven’t been appeased, especially since they still haven’t returned what they stole from the country. It’s not theirs. It’s the people’s money. And if you say that you really love your country, there should be remorse and you should be showing – you know? – a desire to change, an admission of guilt, a way to show that you truly regret what you did),” Robredo said.

Pero hanggang ngayon walang ganoon. So bakit kailangan nating ipagbunyi bilang isang bayan iyong naging buhay ng yumaong pangulo (But until now there’s nothing like that. So why should we glorify as a nation the life of the dead president)?” she asked.

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay issued a statement saying Duterte’s declaration of September 11 as a holiday in Ilocos Norte, his consent to a hero’s burial for the dictator, and his negotiations with the Marcoses were “all machinations to glorify a fascist and a plunderer.”

“These shameless concessions handed by Duterte will whitewash Marcos’ heinous crimes against the Filipino people, while his family creeps back into power,” she warned.

“We should reject all forms of political rehabilitation of the Marcoses. The billions they siphoned off of public funds should be confiscated and given back to martial law victims and the people. They deserve punishment for their crimes, and their deeds are not any cause for celebration,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Ateneo de Manila University announced, through its Facebook page, the launching of MartialLawMuseum.ph on Saturday.

“(It) is a communal response that aims to counter historical revisionism by having an online presence that will feature works of art, lectures, essays, teaching resources, among others, curated from artists, experts, scholars, researchers, teachers and students,” the event description reads. “The initiative will operate according to the following principles: mag-aral, magturo, and manindigan (learn, teach, and make a stand). In time for the 45th year of the declaration of martial law, the activity will be themed as ‘Laban para sa Katotohanan (Fight for the truth): Launch of the Martial Law Museum’.”

Speakers at the Ateneo event include the former National Historical Commission of the Philippines chairperson, Dr. Ma. Serena Diokno, who resigned over the burial of Marcos at LNMB; former Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, FSC; Ateneo School of Social Sciences Dean Dr. Fernando Aldaba; and Ateneo President Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ.