To our dear sisters and brothers in our Jesuit institutions and communities,
Once more we find ourselves in tumultuous times. Amidst the many issues confronting our country—extra-judicial killings, constitutional change, “rhetorical” threats to impose martial law, and the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani—we find ourselves torn as to which to engage.
For some, the Marcos burial may be the least consequential issue. For others it is a step towards forgiving, moving forward, and letting the dead rest in peace.
We believe otherwise.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani buries human dignity by legitimizing the massive violations of human and civil rights, especially of the right to life, that took place under his regime.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani buries truth by perpetuating the myth of Marcos’s achievements as a leader, distorting the valuable lessons of history that we pass on to our young, and confusing them about what constitutes heroism.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani buries justice by justifying the shameless corruption of the dictator, his family, and the oligarchy of cronies he created. It violates the moral values we cherish as a nation by rewarding wrong and making it seem right.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani buries solidarity by denying the pain and anguish of the many victims of human rights violations and their families, the misery of the poor who suffered most under Marcos’s development policies, and the sacrifices of those who fought to restore the country’s fallen democratic institutions.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani buries peace by erasing the memory of the violence that his regime inflicted on our nation.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani buries genuine empowerment by legitimizing the concentration of power in a single leader and the suppression of democratic rights and participation under his regime, and by negating the triumph of the empowered popular movement that unseated him.
Burying the dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani will not heal our wounded country.
We ask you, our sisters and brothers, to consider our position on this issue. And if this position resonates with you, we enjoin you to unite with us in calling upon President Duterte to reconsider his decision and find a resolution to this issue that will bring about genuine reconciliation with justice for all.
At another tumultuous time, our bishops called upon us with these words: “In a creative, imaginative way, under the guidance of Christ’s spirit, let us pray together, reason together, decide together, act together, always to the end that truth prevail…” In the same spirit we call upon you to explore with us a communal basis of action on this and other compelling issues, as Jesuit communities rooted in our common commitment to a faith in Christ that does justice.
|Institute of Social Order
|John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues
|Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan
Be a signatory by clicking the following link: bit.ly/SJLetterOnMarcosBurial
View full list of signatories: bit.ly/SJLetterOnMarcosBurialS