Franciscans ‘frustrated’ over SC ruling on Marcos burial

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MANILA, Nov. 10, 2016 – The Order of Friars of Minor (OFM) in the Philippines demonstrated in a Nov. 10 statement their extreme disappointment over the Supreme Court decision allowing former President Ferdinand E. Marcos burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

“We, the friars of the Order of Friars Minor-Province of San Juan Bautista in the Philippines, who participated in the struggle for justice and peace during and after martial rule express our sadness, disappointment, frustration, dissatisfaction, irritation with the Supreme Court decision,” said Br. Alejo Villanueva, OFM Provincial Animator.

The Franciscans are opposed to giving Marcos last rites at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani for a number of reasons, Villanueva noted.

Not a hero

They could never forget the massive plunder of Marcos amounting to an estimated Php 167, 636,000, the 3,240 persons killed during the dictatorial rule, the 70, 000 people imprisoned, the 35,000 tortured, and the misery at the time, he said.

“Marcos was not a hero,” protested Villanueva. “Martial law was a great blunder in our national history. It was a dark moment in our national life.”

According to him, brave and young Filipinos fought the strongman to regain freedom and democracy the new generations are enjoying.

The Franciscans are well-aware of the efforts of some people to rewrite history, Villanueva said, in an attempt to strike out the memory of Marcos’ crimes from the consciousness of Filipinos so that the young and the generations to come would see him as a hero.

Ill-gotten wealth

“They deliberately distorted history,” he said. “They try to mislead Filipinos’ collective memory.”

INQUIRER.net reported on Feb. 13, 2014 that Singapore’s Court of Appeals ruled in January 2014 that it recognized the right of the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to hold in trust the $29 million seized from Marcos’ Swiss accounts.

Singapore’s Supreme Court also ruled in July 2003 that $683 million in Marcos deposits in Switzerland were ill-gotten, according to INQUIRER.net.
According to a Interaksyon story in Feb. 12, 2014, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that the US$683 million Marcos deposits, which were kept under several Panamanian foundations, were ill-gotten wealth.

The Franciscans insist that the Marcoses acknowledge and apologize to the Filipino people for the late president’s mistakes. (Oliver Samson / CBCPNews)

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