FORMER President Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani will not have a “substantial” effect on the Duterte administration’s peace negotiations with the Reds.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who is the government’s chief peace negotiator, issued the statement after National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) adviser Luis Jalandoni said the burial may affect the ongoing peace talks with the rebels.
“Kung meron mang epekto, hindi naman masyadong substantial—Ibig sabihin, hindi naman ito magiging dahilan para hindi isulong ‘yung usapang pangkapayapaan,” Bello told the state-run dzRB radio yesterday
In a peace forum in Baguio City on Friday, Jalandoni said the Duterte government had been “insensitive” to the victims of martial law tyranny for allowing the burial of the late dictator at the heroes’ cemetery.
Bello said Jalandoni had not mentioned to him personally the NDFP’s concern over the burial of Marcos at the Libingan. But the chief negotiator insisted that the peace talks with the communist rebels had no “preconditions.”
“Mula’t-mula pa ‘yung paguusap namin ng peace talks, hindi — without any preconditions, maliwanag ‘yan under…declaration,” Bello said.
He said the issue on Marcos’ burial should not hinder peace talks between the government and the communist rebels.
During their last meeting in Oslo, Norway, Bello said issues on how to address social and economic reforms had been tackled.
Bello added that the issue on addressing poverty and land reform would also be discussed in succeeding meetings.
The government and the NDFP have been at the negotiating table and had met in Oslo, Norway, to pursue peace agreements which were stalled in the past administrations.
Left-leaning Cabinet members of the Duterte administration may have expressed their opposition to the burial of Marcos, but insisted on staying with the government.
Panelo vs Morales
A Palace official has slammed Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales remarks over the Marcos burial which she claimed tends to forget history and rewrite it.
Chief Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo took exception to Morales’ statements as she paraphrased Lord Acton’s oft-quoted take : “As it turns out nowadays, those who could not remember history have the tendency to rewrite it. Much worse, there are a lot of people who simply do not want to read their history.”
Panelo reiterated that Marcos’ burial at the hero’s cemetery does not ascertain his status as a hero.
“The problem there is that, you are making the act of burying a person in a particular burial site as a basis for being a hero. But that cannot be the case,” Panelo said.
Panelo also explained that Morales seems to tell us that there is an attempt to rewrite history because from her point of view, the burying of former, late, President Marcos would be making him a hero, and that would be revision of history.’
Earlier, Panelo also lamented that Morales had “failed to appreciate the gravity of the drug problem.”
“We have 4 million potential killers, rapists, thieves because they are afflicted with drugs. We have — how many surrenderers? Almost a hundred thousand,” Panelo said.
Morales had earlier said in her hard hitting speech that one of the Ten Commandments is “thou shall not kill.” The speech made a few allusions to the ethics of the drug war, before she described how Filipinos live in “trying times.”