MANILA, Philippines –- Former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos is throwing a gathering for the birth centennial of her husband at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, and she has invited her colleagues at the House of Representatives – both friends and foes.
The invitation said the gathering would be for the “commemoration of the 100th birth anniversary of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos” on Monday, September 11 at 9:30 a.m. A short program and lunch will follow, it said.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he did not get an invitation and had no plans of going.
“I have better things to do,” he said.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he was not aware whether President Rodrigo Duterte was invited to the gathering.
Asked if he finds anything wrong with it, he said, “The Marcos family are entitled to their own event, if they want to celebrate the birth anniversary of former President Marcos, it’s up to them. We’re not connected to the Marcoses,” Andanar said.
Early this week, the President issued Proclamation 310 declaring a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte in commemoration of the Marcos’ 100th birth anniversary.
‘I puked on it’
Two of the critics of the late dictator – Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin — received an invitation.
“I did get an invite and puked on it,” Villarin said.
“With President Duterte’s blessings and absolution of their sins, including his push for their immunity from prosecution, the Marcoses are enjoying their heyday since they were booted out by people power,” he said.
“The day of reckoning will come and history will judge harshly those who kill the truth and our own humanity,” Villarin added.
Lagman said the Marcoses’ “shamelessness is beyond words and their sense of entitlement knows no bounds.”
“This planned party celebrating the centennial of his birth defiles the memory of all the legitimate heroes buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani even as it rubs salt on the still-bleeding wounds of the thousands of victims of the Marcoses’ brutalities, atrocities and unparalleled greed and plunder of the national coffers,” he said.
“Clearly, there is no measure to the depths of depravity that the Marcoses are willing to sink to. In the face of this shamelessness and utter lack of remorse, Filipinos cannot afford not to fight back and be silent,” Lagman added.
The veteran lawmaker, a victim of human rights violations during the Marcos martial law years, said the burial of the dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was in itself “the height of desecration of a sacred and hallowed memorial shrine.”
Lagman and Villarin were among the petitioners before the Supreme Court to stop the transfer of the dictator’s remains at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
Instead of celebrating Marcos’ 100th year, the Marcoses should instead immediately surrender all of their “ill-gotten hoard without conditions,” according to Lagman.
In a separate statement, Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate described as “the height of callousness” the birthday celebration of the former president.
“Napakalaking insulto para sa mga biktima ng mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao noong Batas Militar at maging sa sambayanang Filipino ang gagawing ito ng mga Marcoses,” he said.
[What the Marcos will do will be a big insult to the victims of human rights abuses during Martial Law and also to the Filipino people.]
“Gusto talaga nilang baguhin ang husga ng kasaysayan sa diktador na si Ferdinand Marcos at kanilang pamilya. Mukhang desidido ding muling makabalik sa Malakanyang ang mga Marcos at parte ito sa planong iyon,” added Zarate.
[They want to change history’s judgment on dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family. It looks like the Marcoses are also bent on returning to Malacañang and this is a part of this plan.]
From ouster to death to burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani
Marcos was ousted by a people power uprising in 1986 after a two-decade rule. He and his family fled to Hawaii. He died there in September 1989
In 1991, then President Corazon Aquino, Marcos’ political rival, allowed Imelda Marcos to return to the Philippines from exile to face charges of graft and tax evasion.
In 1992, Imelda Marcos ran for president but lost. The dictator’s son and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., nicknamed Bongbong, won a congressional seat representing Ilocos Norte.
In 1993, then President Fidel Ramos allowed the body of Marcos to be flown in the Philippines, but like Aquino, he did not allow state burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Since the family’s return to the country, they have been in the political scene, holding elective positions in their home province, Ilocos Norte. Imelda Marcos is serving term as a district representative and Imee Marcos, the eldest child, is current governor.
Bongbong Marcos served as senator from 2010 to 2016, before running for Vice President and losing to Leni Robredo. He has a pending electoral protest.
In November 2016, Duterte ordered the burial of the late dictator’s remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani amid protests.
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