TODAY, we march to celebrate the day of Andres Bonifacio and all the heroes who were like him: the martyrs and the brave who fought for our nation. We celebrate the nationalist and altruist bravery of those who died in the night for us to see the break of dawn.
We sing our hymns and we recognize in reverence the reasons we are standing free; the courageous forebears who gave us the free country to love; the selfless mothers who braved the darkness in order to bring in the light.
But today, we are indignant. The heroism we know has been tainted by politics, when Pres. Rodrigo Duterte struck a deal with the Marcoses and ordered that Marcos be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LnMB).
This act is a slap in the face of the many victims of this false “hero.”
Today, as we pay tribute to the true heroes of our nation, we hold President Rodrigo Duterte, the Supreme Court, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Marcos family responsible for causing the surreptitious burial of the dictator’s remains at LnMB, thus desecrating the memories of our true heroes.
Real heroes did not declare Martial Law. They fought against it. Real heroes did not harass and sow fear. They opposed it. Real heroes did not steal from people. They suffered from this plunder and protested in the streets. Real heroes did not commit brutality. They endured it. Even to their deaths. And, it is their disappearances, their torture, their abductions, their murders that have made us value our freedom and our nationalist visions.
The perpetrator of Martial Law horrors is never a hero. Do not, for one second, think that Marcos is part of today’s celebration. Several arms in the legislature and judiciary may have been twisted, but we rise to fight for what we believe in.
And, it is in this belief that we acknowledge the young ones, the “millennials,” the pag-asa ng bayan, for being one with the many victims against this false hero: for rising up to condemn this utter disregard of the rights of the Marcos victims and their bereaved families, who are the true and real heroes.
Today we celebrate the National Heroes’ Day and the awakening of the young. Together we build a nation that respects human rights that values the truth and promotes justice.