The closure sought by martial law victims cannot be achieved by allowing the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, former Bayan Muna party-list representative Satur Ocampo said Tuesday.
Ocampo, a victim of human rights violations during Martial Law, questioned the Marcos family's push for a hero's burial when they did not even apologize for the the atrocities that happened under the dictatorship.
"Ang mga Marcoses, yung iniwanan niya na asawa niya at mga anak niya, hindi sila umaamin ng pagkakamali. Hindi sila nag-a-apologize kahit na lumalabas na yung mga records ng atrocities, pati yung plunder. Paano mo sasabihin na isasara yun issue na yan sa simpleng paglilibing?" Ocampo said in his interview on GMA News TV's News To Go.
Ocampo said that while Marcos was a former president—one of the qualifications for an individual to be laid to rest at the hero's cemetery—his burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would have serious implications on the search for justice of victims of human rights violations under martial law.
"Ang patutol namin at ng maraming nagsalita tungkol diyan, hindi lang kaming biktima ng martial law atrocities, kung hindi ang buong bayan ang naghahanap ng katarungan," Ocampo said.
Ocampo was also a political detainee during the martial law years. He was imprisoned for nine years on rebellion charges before he escaped in 1985.
Meanwhile, the former Bayan Muna party-list representative said one of the conditions of former President Fidel Ramos in allowing the return of Marcos' corpse in 1993 was for his burial in his hometown of Ilocos Norte.
Ocampo added that the family started pushing for a hero's burial for the elder Marcos only surfaced when his son and namesake, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., ran for the Senate in 2010.
"Naging issue noong 2010 lang 'to ng pareho kami tumakbo ni Sen. Bongbong. Nag-propose siya noon sa isang press conference na tinutulan ko, harapan yan. Sabi ko I'm not speaking for myself, kung hindi sa maraming biktima at yung mamamayan mismo na naghahanap ng at least katiting man lang na pagpapaumahin na hindi nila ginagawa," Ocampo said.
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Sunday that he was allowing Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng Bayani because he was a former soldier. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines has since disputed this assertion.
In response to the his orders, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has already ordered the Armed Forces to make the necessary preparations for the burial.
Various groups have opposed the hero's burial of Marcos. They called on Duterte to reconsider his decision. —Joseph Tristan Roxas/NB, GMA News