Frustrated over Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani, former Senator Rene Saguisag urge all government employees who are alleged Martial law Victims to resign from their posts.
Speaking before a crowd of anti-Marcos groups and activists at the University of the Philippines College of Law, Saguisag said Cabinet officials – especially those who had been active in the anti-dictatorship struggle – should not take the matter sitting down.
“Like in the case of Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te – instead of saying that the decision is final and that Marcos can be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it would be good to hear, from where I stand, that he is resigning,” Saguisag, a human rights victim, said.
“My advice goes to other members of the government, especially those who were with us in the struggle, that they may consider resigning from their posts,” he added.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said on Friday she was against the burial but would rather keep quiet in deference to President Duterte.
Another prominent leftist in the Cabinet is Rafael Mariano of the Department of Agrarian Reform.
“We cannot go on like this, that there is this sense of deja vu of what happened in 1972, and that it took the salvaging of Ninoy Aquino before the Filipino people was awakened. I hope more and more will be made aware of the truth behind all these,” the former senator pointed out.
Saguisag described the first few months of the Duterte administration as worse than during Marcos’ time.
“During that time, many were arrested and tortured but not many were killed in the beginning. To me, every human life matters,” he said. “With the way things are going now – threat of suspending the privilege of writ of habeas corpus, threat of martial law – we don’t know what will happen next,” he warned. “It is best for the President to review and consider a change of course. We, in the tiny HR (human rights) community, are very worried,” he pointed out.
For his part, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) secretary-general Renato Reyes said the so-called good relations between the administration and the leftist movement are now being put to the test.
“As to what will happen next, we’ll see. But definitely, we are very dismayed of what had just happened. We will have the President answer for this,” he said.
He added the development would affect the commitment of the government to indemnify martial law victims.
Bonifacio Ilagan, spokesman for the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA), called on the President to sever his alliance with the Marcoses.
“We are set to come out with this unity statement that will gather millions of signatures to send a strong message that we oppose the burial of the dictator at the LNMB,” he said referring to the Libingan by its initials.
In line with what Saguisag was suggesting, supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte voiced out support for Saguisag saying it would be better if all of these people will resign, especially Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Leila De Lima, Antonio Trillanes IV, and Bam Aquino.
A prominent Marcos supporter, Atty. Lodovico Silayan said people will be happy if the so-called Martial Law Victims would resign from the government and “Rest in Peace”, so the country can go forward under President Duterte’s administration.