Before you can begin healing, you have to realize that you have a wound in the first place. That you’re bleeding and in pain, and looking for treatment. And as anyone who has been injured before knows, it takes a certain amount of courage to apply alcohol to an open cut.

People often confuse forgiveness with forgetfulness. For them, allowing the late Ferdinand E. Marcos to be buried together with fallen soldiers will heal the country and letting him rest in the soil exclusive for heroes is equivalent to moving forward. Well, it isn’t.

To bury him there is like forgetting all the evil he did in the first place, ignoring all the people he killed and left missing, and insulting all the survivors and their families he left unjustifiably scarred. Laying him to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) is a disdainful act that will send a message to the future of our nation – our children – that the country we live in rewards forceful and violent hands. Burying him in the graveyard where we keep our bravest citizens isn’t moving forward, it’s just moving on.

It infuriates me to see people citing all the projects Marcos did as if that would acquit him for his crimes. To say that he should be honored because of the theaters, parks, roads, and bridges he commissioned is to honor his torture of thousands of workers to keep those projects afloat.

There are also who would reduce heroism to a checklist of basic yes-and-nos. people think Marcos deserves the honor due to his titles as former president and general, but to do so would be to diminish the sacrifice of every other man and woman buried there by defining their heroism as a list of titles and positions required for honorable burial.

Burying Marcos in LNMB is to inevitably recognize him as a part of the country’s beloved patriots and may also insensitively disregard the agonies that the victims had endured during the martial rule.

Really, do we put Marcos’s said “achievements”, titles, and positions as heavier, lighter or of equal weight compared to the atrocities that he has committed against the Filipino people? It’s baffling how this question even exists.

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