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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Seares: ‘Marcos victims’ have no right to complain?

“You fought the government. You wanted to kill Marcos. Naturally he would fight back. So we have no right to complain if he imprisoned or killed the enemies of his government.”
--Salvador Panelo, to the “martial law” victims and their relatives, quoted in the “Inquirer”

PRESIDENT Duterte, whom Salvador Panelo serves as chief legal counsel, has simplified the issue: does the law allow burial of martial law president Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani?

The Marcos family has set in motion the transfer of its patriarch’s corpse from Batac, Ilocos Norte to heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City. Duterte earlier ordered the defense department to prepare the military honors.

What can stop it is a restraining order from the Supreme Court, where the dispute is expected to be raised. Duterte apparently thinks his landslide vote covers all his election promises. No need for checking the public pulse.

The high tribunal will examine Republic Act 289 and implementing rules to see if Marcos qualifies.

Marcos was a president and soldier, even if he was not a hero, Duterte says, and deserves a Libingan burial.

Opposers say Marcos abuses—tortures, disappearances, deaths of thousands of people and plunder of billions of pesos--stripped away the right. He no longer was “inspiring and emulating” to other generations.

Self-defense

Panelo has raised this theory: Marcos was only defending himself against those who fought and wanted to kill him. Victims and their kin should have no right to complain.

Instead of martial law victims, Panelo considers them casualties of the fight. One who seizes and keeps power illegally has the right to defend that and even strike back. Or so the theory sounds.

Something we didn’t hear before, even from Marcos heir Bongbong during the campaign.

And Panelo might put that idea into his client’s head.

[paseares@gmail.com]
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