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By Mikhaela Dimpas

Protest group Duyan ng Magiting (Duyan), urged everyone, especially the youth, to remember the “real heroes” during the Martial Law era at their launch at Bantayog ng mga Bayani on July 28.

The coalition of Martial Law survivors and their families, human rights activists and various youth and church groups also opposed the hero’s burial for former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, adding that it would be an “insult” to the real heroes who gave their lives during the country’s “dark years.”

“A Marcos interment in the Libingan ng mga Bayani will create a tall heap of insults,” said Carmela Vinzon of Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng mga Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila.

“It would imply that Marcos was a greater hero than the Martial Law victims whose remains do not lie in the Libingan,” she added.

Educating the youth

The battle against the Marcoses’ historical revisionism is far from over, the coalition also noted, citing the near victory of the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in his vice presidential bid.

“Nakakalungkot na ngayong halalan ay nakakalimutan ng ilan sa ating mga mamamayan ang tunay na katotohanan ng pakikibaka sa ating bansa,” said Atty. Erin Tañada, grandson of late human rights lawyer and Martial Law activist Lorenzo Tañada.

However, he also explained that the tables have already turned when millennials started asking about the circumstances during Martial Law and when human rights and anti-Marcos groups became more vocal against the dictator’s regime.

Tañada added that it is most “crucial” to educate millennials now because of the alarming rise in the killings related to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

As of July 28, 420 alleged drug suspects have been killed in police operations since June 30 and a total of 120,039 alleged drug users and pushers have surrendered as of July 24.  

“Ayaw nating pumasok sa mga kabataan na itong klaseng pamamaraan na nangyari, yung pag-violate ng human rights ay pwedeng gawin para lamang sa usapin ng pag-unlad,” Tañada said.

On the other hand, Susan Quimpo of the Martial Law Chronicles Project said many efforts are being done to educate the youth on the horrors of the Marcos regime.

Endorsed by the Commission on Human Rights, the Martial Law Chronicles Project is a nationwide campaign against historical revisionism.

According to Quimpo, they have visited at least 30 schools in the past six months.

“We want to tell the youth of the truth about martial law. We told them that the revolution to topple Marcos was not a three-day event and that the movement wasn’t at all bloodless,” Quimpo said.

For the past, future heroes

Duyan also honored youth Martial Law activists who gave their efforts and lives to help end Marcos’ regime. An offering of medals and the Philippine Flag were given to the families of the “real heroes.”

“Maraming kabataan ang nagbuwis ng buhay para sa isang bayang maligaya, makatarungan, at masagana dahil may kalayaan,” activist and University of the Philippines professor Tet Maceda said, quoting desaparecido Ramon Jasul.

Among those honored are Jun Quimpo, Ramon Jasul, Jose Burgos Jr. and Edgar Jopson, and both named and unnamed heroes in Bantayog.

Marie Jopson-Plopinio, sister of the late Edgar Jopson, reminded that this fight against the hero’s burial of the former president is not carried on just to “save” the honor of the real heroes, but also to educate future generations.

She said the Libingan ng mga Bayani not only serves as an honorable burial site. It also passes on the characteristics and identities of who the real Filipino heroes are.

“Iyon ang ayaw nating mawala. Iyon ang ayaw nating mabahiran ng kahit anong mantsa – kung sino o ano ang tunay na kabayanihang Pilipino,” she added. #



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