By: Ben Emata

Former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos was finally buried in the cemetery of heroes. To many people, he may not be a hero but to his family and die hard supporters, he was someone a giant, so closed to their hearts, respect and deserving of honors. A dead man absolutely deserves forgiveness.

Marcos may have committed serious blunders as a person and leader, unpardonable crime and anything more but he is not around anymore to ask for kindness and forgiveness. Like everyone else, he was a sinner, perhaps more sinner than some of us but believe me a dead man commits no sin anymore. God will forgive him.

Are we capable of maintaining hatred to a person who had long been dead? I wish to reiterate I was a victim of martial law too, a genuine victim unlike others who come just to open their mouth without any basis. When the dictator declared military rule in the country, I became jobless as I shut down my growing newspaper publication. It was Marcos who ordered to curtail press freedom and thousands of men and women working in the fourth estate found themselves without work. Honestly I shed tears because of fear I could not provide the needs of my family and support the welfare of the general public.

Behind the numerous accusations of the late dictator, Marcos was a man of pity, love and understanding. When his close friends and top men, namely: Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and then Armed Forces Gen. Fidel Ramos cut off their relationship with him, they got support from the general public. That occasion later became the famous peoples’ power. Both Enrile and Ramos could have been killed that very moment but Marcos saved them. Gen. Fabian Ver with his men, tanks and cannons asked the president if he could pulverize the rebels who were lodged at Camp Crame, Marcos rejected the idea. The good deeds of Marcos allowed more people to come to the Edsa not to help throw away Marcos but merely watching history that was developing.

Then I saw abuses of some constabulary soldiers treating badly those arrested for alleged tviolation of curfew hours. The soldiers rapidly developed themselves as the untouchable group prepared to break anybody’s neck for no reason at all. It was the abuses of the military that hurt more than the proclamation of decrees after decrees.

As the years went on, Marcos must have felt his guilt and embarked on establishing huge projects around the country. For the first time, he connected Metro Manila by land transportation into the wilderness of the Visayas and Mindanao. Until today, passenger buses and all kinds of motor vehicles are making safe trips from Luzon to anywhere in Mindanao.

He hired the Hanil Construction of South Korea to shape up the highways in the county, build all-weather permanent bridges and establish road-to-market roads in all barangays around the archipelago. Towering government edifices, convention centers, etc. came up like mushrooms. What were impossible in the previous years, Marcos built what is now the world famous San Juanico bridge in the Visayas, a huge bridge from Cebu’s Mandaue to Mactan istand that is now known as the Cebu International Airport.

Marcos was a thief, a dictator, a villain in the modern world and any word in the book of Webster, will not in any way erase the good deeds he had achieved. Achievements of other past presidents combined together are just laughingstock to that of the late dictator. I am talking about the good deeds of Marcos which were deliberately overlooked by his critics and opposing political groups.

As president of the country and soldier during World War II, Marcos deserved to get honors and buried in the Libingan. One of his children humbled themselves by saying his burial at the heroes’ site does not mean he was a hero. He was just a president and so far he never was convicted in any court for crimes.

I wish to point it out that the problem in our country is we ourselves. We are people that could .hardly be managed. Many of us are so proud of ourselves for nothing. Statistics show we are top in Asia for criminality. Just recently, a politician was quoted as saying, the country is rich but assets are in the hands of some corrupt leaders. The worst thing is this kind of revelation does not embarrass us any more because it has seemingly been seen as normal and just part of life.

The refusal of our government to bury Marcos in the Libingan has dragged for decades. It was politics that refused to hammer the nails of Marcos coffin and have the dictator given honors. I look at this as nothing but useless revenge and excesses of practices in a democratic state. It is pure and simple a disrespect of the dead. Now the protesters want Marcos removed from the Libingan, a matter that only add to ignorance, hatred and endless political war. I always believe, though, that everything in this world that has its beginning, shall also have its end. If the matter has not yet ended, I predict it will soon end. I just want our government to safeguard the tomb of Marcos in the Libingan against vandalism and thieves. Let Marcos rests in extreme peace.

Pres. Digong Duterte deserves gratitude for giving justice to where it appropriately belonged which was affirmed by the highest tribunal of the land. The protesters who vowed to stage more rallies against the burial will soon find everything is nonsense and useless. The people will find them a monotony of events as the issue would vanish by the passing of time. BEN EMATA Bennex News Service

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