MANILA - Former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. expressed his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for supporting the burial of his late father in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Speaking on TV Patrol, the younger Marcos also thanked the Supreme Court justices for acknowledging the right of his father to be buried at the heroes' cemetery because of his contributions to the country.
"Kaya kami ay nagpapasalamat sa ating mga Supreme Court justice at kinilala nila ang karapatan ng aking ama bilang isang sundalo, bilang isang beterano, bilang isang Medal of Valor winner, bilang isang pangulo ng dalawampung taon na siya'y mailibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani," he said.
(We are grateful to the Supreme Court justices for acknowledging the right of my father as a soldier, as a war veteran, as a Medal of Valor recipient, as a president for 20 years, to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.)
He added that with the Supreme Court decision, he hopes that the issue will be laid to rest, and the wounds of the past healed.
"Kitang-kita ngayon natin na itong isyung ito ay hinahati ang sambayanan, kaya kapag ito ay natapos na at nasundan na ang naging desisyon ng Supreme Court at ang utos ating pangulo ay masasabi natin na ito ay isang simulang hakbang para sa paghihilom sa mga sugat ng nakaraan," Marcos said.
(We can see clearly now that this issue has divided the nation, and so once it ends, and the decision of the Supreme Court and the president is followed, we can say that it is a first step to the healing of the wounds of the past.)
"Tayo ay maari nang magkaisang muli at magtulong tulong upang pagandahin ang ating minamahal na Pilipinas, pagandahin ang buhay ng ating mamamayang Pilipino," he added.
(We can be one again and we can help each other in developing our beloved Philippines and to improve the lives of the Filipinos.)
'HOW CAN WE MOVE ON?'
Meanwhile, victims of human rights violations during Martial Law expressed their dismay and anger over the Supreme Court's decision.
Bonifacio Ilagan, who was tortured during the Marcos regime, said they will not move on from what happened until justice has prevailed.
"How can we move on when there's no justice? Yun po ang problema," he told TV Patrol.
(How can we move on when there's no justice? That's the problem.)
Ilagan also said it is easier for the Marcoses to ask for closure since they were able to return to power.
"Madaling sabihin ng mga Marcos 'yan eh (ang closure) sapagkat sila ay nakabalik sa pwesto, sapagkat sila ay may bangkay na ililibing. Pero paano po kami na may mga kaanak na nawala na hindi namin malaman kung nasaan. Paano po kami na na-torture at hanggang ngayon ay hindi kinikilala. Sa halip na kami ay kilalanin, 'yun pang nagtorture sa amin, 'yung nag-utos na mag-torture sa amin ang kinilala," he said.
(It is easy for the Marcos to ask for closure because they were able to regain their power, because they have a body to bury. How about us who have relatives who are still missing? How about us who were tortured? Instead of recognizing us as victims of human rights violations, the person who tortured us, the one who ordered those tortures, was the one who was recognized.)
According to Ilagan, he and his fellow Martial Law victims will continue to fight for justice.
"Amin pong iginigiit, upang magkaroon ng closure, so that we can move on, aminin ng mga Marcos na ang Martial Law ay lumabag sa karapatang pantao ng hindi mabilang na tao. Aminin nila na sila ay nagnakaw, at ibalik nila ang kanilang ninakaw," he said.
(For there to be closure, so that we can move on, the Marcoses should acknowledge that there were human rights violations during Martial Law. They should admit that they stole the people's money, and they should return what they stole.)
The Supreme Court voted 9-5 in favor of the burial of the late strongman in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.