LAOAG CITY — More than one million signatures calling for the burial of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) has been prepared for submission to the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday.
Before the presentation of signatures, organizers said a simple mass will be held in front of the SC to intercede for the former president’s burial at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
The first half of the campaign was launched online a month ago through a Change.org petition, “#ilibingNa si President Ferdinand Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani”.
On-ground efforts began on the same day, but were mostly revitalized in the past two weeks.
“The signatures gathered signify that there are numerous Filipinos who are in favor of the burial of the late president at the LNMB,” explained Atty. Hyacinth Rafael-Antonio, who received the signatures from the supporters as lawyer of the Marcos family.
James Caesar Ventura of the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA) said, “The signature campaign is to reiterate that there’s massive public backing and support for President Duterte’s decision to give a hero’s burial to the former president and World War II veteran.”
The campaign was spearheaded in parts of Metro Manila by groups such as the Buong Bayan Magkaisa (BBM) Youth Movement and Friends of Imelda R. Marcos (FIRM) 24k.
FIRM 24k member Hazel Kaye Mendoza said over the weekend that many wanted to sign the petition in recognition of Marcos’ good projects for the country.
Meanwhile, Harrold Toledana, president of the BBM Youth Movement, said they want Marcos to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery so the country could start its healing process.
He led the group’s campaign around the Mall of Asia (MOA) and other parts of Pasay City.
In Quezon City, the United Marcos Loyalists in the Philippines (UMLP) and Kilusang Kaisipang Diwang Pilipino (KKDP) carried out the gathering of signatures.
UMLP president Vince Avena noted that it is about time for the country to move on. “This cannot happen as long we let the past dictate our life as a country today,” he said.
Explaining that the KKDP does not identify as a “loyalist group”, its sec. gen. Robert dela Cerna said they nonetheless believe in Marcos’ accomplishments.
“Though we do not ask that the past be forgotten… who are we to withhold from him the kind of burial he deserves?” Avena added.
Pro-burial netizens also continue to share the online petition link on social networking sites.
“Matalino, masipag, may malasakit sa bayan, mapagmahal sa tao, at maganda ang pamamalakad (Intelligent, industrious, caring, affectionate, a good ruler),” wrote Facebook user Sunsun Maday-a, sharing how her father described Marcos.
Twitter user @chilishers of Baguio City used the “#ilibingNa” hashtag to voice out, “For a peaceful and progressive Philippines, we should all unite, forgive, love one another, and not [be] divisive.”
“Nakakataba ng puso kasi nakikita natin na marami talagang hindi nakakalimot sa tatang ko (It is heartening to know that many have not forgotten my father),” expressed Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos.
The petition mirrors the support given to former senator Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. in his vice presidential bid in the last election, with the bulk of signatures coming from the Marcoses’ bailiwick in the Ilocos region.
The tally also included the official reports from loyalist groups’ campaigns among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other nations.
Antonio said those who signed are also “citizens of our country whose convictions must be considered for national unity and healing to become a reality”.
“Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that the case has been submitted for the resolution of the SC. We should trust that the SC will rule in accordance with law,” she said. PNA-northboundasia.com