08/16/2016, 12.45
PHILIPPINES
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For Catholic educators, dictator Marcos should not be buried with the country’s heroes

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines challenges the President Duterte’s decision to move the body of the former president to the monumental cemetery in Manila. The nation "will not heal” but be more divided with this choice. The Filipino leader should instead remember his mother, “one of the strongest crusaders in the fight for democracy”.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – “Given the gravity of Mr. Marcos’ crimes against the people and country, his burial at the Libingan will not heal or foster unity.” said the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP).

The new Philippines president announced plans to transfer Marcos’s remains next month to the Libingan monumental cemetery, the resting place of the heroes of independence from Japan and those who fought the late dictator himself.

Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, and inflexibly enforced martial law to "counter communist penetration". He resigned after popular protests led mostly by the Catholic Church, and died in exile in Hawaii in 1989. He is currently buried in Batac, in the north of the country.

The newly elected Duterte has repeatedly given hints to the supporters of the former dictator, even proposing Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as his vice president. Now the reburial has reopened the debate.

The CEAP, composed of 1,425 member-schools, colleges and universities, reiterated that Marcos does not belong in the heroes’ cemetery.

Burying him there would “invalidate all that many heroes have spent their lives fighting for—heroes such as your beloved mother, whom we honor and remember as one of the strongest crusaders in the fight for democracy and justice” against the Marcos dictatorship.

Marcos “was not a hero,” the group stressed. “We look forward to your promise of change being fulfilled, of old wrongs being redressed. We ask that you take the biggest step in rectifying one of the country’s oldest wrongs.”

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