I am furious: #MarcosBurial

I. 

that the soul of one person
has been desecrated to dust
should call to arms a nation's heart
and set fire to a world of sorrow

but here we remain, the whole world burned.
the grass is razed and the trees are fallen.
there is no more fruit,
there will be no more gain.

we sit still, here, in our own warmth,
housed in a multitude of light,
while the embers of this play
build towers of dust around us.

this man's perversion of honor,
prostitution of life,
and profanity?
is not a question.
the dust of the departed calls to you:
scorch it, conquer it,
burn it to the ground!

II.

Here lies a man, bare bones and sin
His children had to steal through the dark night for him
Beloved by many but reviled by even more
May his blood never rest, all ignoble foresworn


III.

BUHAY NA BA KAYO NUNG MARTIAL LAW

Hukayin ang puso at buksan ang damdamin, 
Ulitin ang tanong at subukang isipin:
Ang patay noo'y pinutulan ng diwa at dila, 
sinaksak, ginahasa at walang tigil na pinagdusa.
 
Walang boses ang bangkay at mga nang-iwang ulila,
maliban sa tinig at sigaw ng kanilang mga tagapagmana. 
Kaming mga anak at kamag-anak, kaibigan at apo
Tayong pinalaking mga tinuringang Pilipino.

WALA NAMANG EBIDENSYA NA MAY KASALANAN

Ilang bilyong dolyar at ilang milyong pangarap, 
tatlong libong patay at sandamakmak na hirap.
Mga salitang pabulong, mga talata't sanaysay, 
Hindi mabilang na bayani, mga buhay na inalay.

Kahit isang pursyento lamang 
ng mga bintang ang totoo
Hindi ba't sapat na ang isa
upang kilalanin siyang berdugo?

Burial in Secret

Yesterday, in a turn of events no one in my acquaintance expected, the ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos was hurriedly buried in Libingan ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Burial) by his family. He was buried with full honors in the manner of heroes; the Philippine flag was buried with him.

And his family, composed of thick-faced personalities and statesmen, had the audacity to come to the place as if it was a celebration and victory. There were same-edit videos of the event.

Every man has his human dignity, his final right to be buried with even the least amount of respect. But for a man and for a family who were behind at least a decade of blood, where thousands of Filipinos died without dignity and disappeared without a trace, it should have been clear. Not everyone has the right to die a hero.

This all comes in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that settled in favor of the Marcoses –despite the contention of the public, Marcos’ burial in the LNMB was found to be legal. Our President, Duterte, agreed.

There is some comfort in the dissenting opinions of five of Supreme Court Justices (the decision fell 9-5). But there is no comfort to the loss, and no comfort to logic of Marcos supporters.

It just doesn’t make sense to cite the law. The law was built to serve man, and not the man to serve the law. Our morality should transcend what’s doable towards what’s right.

Future of the People

By burying Marcos alongside true heroes, we blur the lines of our own history. It doesn’t matter if he’s buried only as a former president and soldier (whose accolades are questionable as best), and not as a hero. What matters is the kind of history and precedence we make.

This is the history that future generations will read. That disgraced dictators can be buried in hallowed land; that corrupt and impeached presidents can rise to become congresswomen and mayors; that we are a people who forgive indiscriminately, regardless of threat to identity and mobility.

But I am happy that people came to the streets in protest, last night. And they will come out again.

I am proud, too, of both my alma mater. St. Scholastica’s College Manila has recently drawn some flak for daring to teach children the value of assembling in protest. And students and officials of the UP system took to the street. Proud Scholastican and Iskolar ng Bayan.

Other institutions and individuals still debate. Is it within our responsibility to release a statement or make a stance? Is it possible that the Marcoses were, in fact, in the right of history? Shouldn’t we let the dead rest?

I am furious. I am furious at the Marcoses, and equally furious at those who dither. This isn’t the time to be indecisive. And it also is not the time to argue on the basis of myopic arguments.

I don’t want to lose this anger. We’ve been a country governed by corrupt men and women since time immemorial, but this really takes the cake. If we can’t see the blatant disregard for our rights and dignity as a people, then we really have lost.

xxx

This comes at a time when we have Trump for a President, and a second Head & Neck exam that’s 10 points lower than my first.

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