Exclusive: AGHAM Statement on Marcos Burial

In our fight for the right and the search for the untarnished truth

We say no to Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Last November 8, in a 9–5 decision, the Supreme Court ruled allowing the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. By doing so, the Supreme Court has allowed for the revision and the erasure of a dark time in Philippine history. We cannot accept this decision especially that it hides under legalese the established facts ill-gotten wealth and plunder that he and his family accumulated, the US Court decision to compensate tens of thousand of human rights victims and the countless martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting the dictatorship.

Before and during the declaration of Martial Law, thousands have been illegally detained, tortured, abducted and even killed. By treating him at par with other great historical figures, it is a great dishonor to the contributions of those who have chosen to offer their lives for genuine freedom and democracy. We cannot just forget and move on. Our youth, especially the scholars like those in the Philippine Science High School, have shown their wisdom by standing up against this decision. It is but correct to show our disapproval because the rehabilitation and resurgence of the Marcoses and those complicit in Martial Law will not bring closure.

It will only provide an excuse for those in power to repeat the mistakes of the past. Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is not simply a legal issue, it is a moral and historical issue of standing against a dictator and saying never again to the dark era of Martial Law.

It is disappointing that President Duterte has claimed that the Marcos’ crimes are yet to be proven in court when in fact there are already clear decisions here and abroad that recognizes the human rights violations committed during his term. Duterte should rescind his decision. History has already judged Marcos when the people rose in 1986 to topple the dictatorship.

Many Pisay students such as Francis Sontillano, Mariano “Rak” Lopez, Alexander “Alex” Belone II, Pastor “Sonny” Mesina, Lazaro “Lazzie” Silva, Nimfa “Nona” del Rosario, Jan Quimpo, Marcelino “Marc” Villanueva, Lorenxo “Nik” Lansang and Rodelo “Delo” Manaog compose only a small portion of the brave thousands who have fought against the Marcos rule.

We in Pisay have had a history of contributing to the anti-Marcos movement. Students from PSHS joined various organizations of scientists and technologists that have militantly fought not only against the dictator but also for a truly free and just society. They correctly perceived that only under such conditions can science and technology advance for the people’s good. They worked inside and outside of their laboratories, inside and outside of the school and the university, here in the urban areas and there in the countryside with our peasants and workers. A lot of our alumni and students are still helping out in various ways to effect change in our society.

Despite appearances, the need for change remains: the people’s wanting for national liberation and democracy, for national industrialization and genuine land reform and for a national, scientific and mass culture remains valid and is as necessary as it was during Martial law.

The challenge for our students is to be one with the Filipino people in showing our protest and dissent against a hero’s burial for the dictator and plunderer Marcos. The long term call is to continue and keep alive what our real heroes have started and take on their struggle offering our talent, time and energy in making science and technology serve the Filipino people.

Giovanni Tapang, PhD

AGHAM National Chairperson

Pisay Batch 1989