IFUGAO Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr. expressed his extreme disappointment over the Supreme Court ruling allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"Its basis may be purely legal but the decision sweeps away the sacrifice of human rights victims of Marcos's Martial Law and signals the revision of our people's history," Baguilat lamented.
Rather than prolonging the agony of everyone affected by Martial Law, however, Baguilat sees the decision as strengthening his resolve to educate Filipinos about the dark episode in Philippine history during the Marcos regime.
"My brother who was killed in the service of his country is buried at the Libingan, and it is painful that a dictator and thief will be buried alongside him under the label hero," Baguilat said.
The solon however said burying a dictator in a cemetery for heroes does not make him a hero although it defiles the place for the heroes buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"What is more important now is that we do not forget the injustices that Marcos inflicted on our country and our people. Improving the Martial Law Museum established under Republic Act 10368 should just be the start of more extensive efforts to educate future generations of Filipinos about the evils of Martial Law, lest they once again fall prey to the silencing of liberty and democratic principles," Baguilat said.
Baguilat meanwhile if the burial pushes through future accounts of Marcos's interment should accurately report its context -- how the President insisted on the burial to fulfill a promise to the dictator's family, and how the Supreme Court disregarded the appeals to morality by human rights victims and their families.
"We should learn from the lessons of history or we will only repeat our mistakes. My generation's mistake was we relegated Martial Law to the background, hoping that its trauma would go away. Never again," Baguilat remarked.