By Tina Berenger Peralta
Filipinos have such short memories. Just like the way they vote for public officials, their emotions always rule the decisions that could greatly impact their lives.
There were great hopeful days in the first few months of martial law especially when there were no more loose guns in the street that could get you killed if you were in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong crowd. But then weakness set in and absolute power corrupts absolutely and our hopes for a disciplined and progressive nation were dashed. The government that Marcos spawned became oppressive and was no longer of the people, by the people and for the people, but of the dictatorship, by the dictator, and for the dictator, his wife and family and for his cronies.
I say do not bury the man. In fact let his unburied remains be an open reminder to all those who wish to serve our country with impunity that all the riches in this world, all the power and might, all the jewelry, dollars and mansions cannot be contained inside one’s coffin and therefore there is no need to cause such grief, such pain, such humiliations, such violence in order to hold on to that power and riches. All that matters really is that a leader leaves behind a good name, full of integrity, honesty and respect for human dignity and a progressive nation that we can all be proud of. But alas! All those valuable and noble traits of a leader Marcos was so sadly lacking and in my view he does not deserve a burial with full military honours. His legacy has been the consistent burying of our dreams, of our poor malnourished children, of our pride as a nation.
Who is going to honour the 14 year old son of a journalist whose head was crushed by a rock and left to die in a cogon field just because his father wrote something nasty about Marcos? Did that poor boy deserve to die for his father’s courage? What about that man who was fooled and whose life was not given any value but had to be used as the patsy who killed the President’s father? Who is going to mourn him and give him a special burial place? More importantly who will mourn the loss of entire generations of Filipinos whose sense of morality has been grossly screwed up and we now believe stealing, bribe taking and being totally corrupt are good character traits worth emulating. Or killing indiscriminately anyone that gets in the way of holding on to power is the only right way to take out bothersome opponents as in what happened in Maguindanao?
All of what we have become as a people and as a nation is the legacy of 20 years of Marcos’ tutoring on how to screw up a nation’s morality and respect for the law.
Bury Marcos with full military honours and we truly bury our integrity and dignity as a people and as a nation.