MANILA - Minority senators on Saturday marked the first anniversary of deposed strongman Ferdinand Marcos' secrecy shrouded burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani with condemnation, asserting that the interment was "against the law."
In a joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Bam Aquino, Leila De Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV called Marcos a "false hero," citing how indignant Filipinos continued to defy historical revisionism that sought to change the narrative of his repressive regime.
"The arrangement had been planned in secret, against the law and against the wishes of the Filipino people, many of whom to this day demand justice for the horrors of the Marcos regime... Then again, one could not have expected more from a family of thieves who remain unapologetic and willfully ignorant of their crimes," read the statement.
On Nov. 18, 2016, Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, transferred from a crypt in Ilocos Norte province where his body had been kept for decades.
The interment came after President Rodrigo Duterte, a known friend of the Marcos family whose father Vicente was part of the strongman's pre-dictatorship cabinet, allowed the burial.
The Supreme Court then ruled that there was no legal impediment to Marcos' burial at the heroes' cemetery when several petitioners raised the issue before the tribunal.
"While a false hero was being buried at the Heroes' Cemetery, true heroes were rising to the challenge and making their voices heard. Let us choose to remember not the burial but the people who rose to the call: protesters who showed a strong sense of hope, pride, and solidarity," the opposition senators said.
"Amidst this dark attempt at historical revisionism came the light of thousands of indignant Filipinos who remember their history and cry out: he is not a hero," the statement read.
Marcos' burial, which was kept out of the public eye, drew widespread condemnation, especially from victims of the strongman's repressive regime.
The country marked the 30th anniversary of Marcos' ouster last year, with 75,000 victims still awaiting reparation.
The Marcoses allegedly plundered $10 billion from state coffers during their reign, and only $4 billion in cash and assets have been recovered by an anti-graft body formed by his successor, the late President Corazon Aquino.
The late dictator's only son and namesake, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., narrowly lost the vice-presidential race this year to Leni Robredo, an ally of the family's political nemesis and Duterte's immediate predecessor, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
His widow, former first lady Imelda Marcos, is a congresswoman representing Ilocos Norte while his eldest daughter, Imee, is the provincial governor.
In August, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Marcos family expressed willingness to return gold bars and a portion of their supposed hidden wealth.