MANILA, Philippines – On the second anniversary of the hero's burial for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, detained Senator Leila De Lima said Filipinos must remember that Marcos was not a hero, but a thief.
Marcos' remains were quietly transfered to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) on November 18, 2016, days after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled on its legality.
De Lima cited the recent verdict of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan, which found former first lady Imelda Marcos guilty of 7 counts of graft for illegally creating and maintaining US$ 200 million worth of Swiss foundations for the "private benefit" of the Marcos family.
For the 3 counts that Imelda was acquitted of, the Sandiganbayan found it was her husband Ferdinand who committed the crime of graft. "Criminal responsibility being personal to the perpetrator thereof, the same cannot be attributed by implication to Ms Marcos," the court said.
"Mabagal man ang naging pag-usad ng katarungan, hindi pa rin naging huli ang lahat. Dahil malinaw na pahayag ito sa buong mundo: Hindi bayani si Marcos. Nagnakaw ang mga Marcos," said De Lima.
(Justice may have been slow, but it wasn't too late. Because this is a clear statement to the world: Marcos is not a hero. The Marcoses were thieves.)
A civil case where the government seeks to recover P200 billion worth of ill-gotten wealth from the Marcos family is up for decision at the Sandiganbayan 4th Division. (READ: FALSE: 'No proof' that Marcos couple stole billions from Filipinos)
"Napakalaki ng pagkakaiba ng mga bayaning nag-alay ng buhay at nagmalasakit sa bayan, sa diktador na nag-udyok ng mga pagpatay, at nagdulot ng pasakit at kalunos-lunos na pagdurusa sa napakaraming Pilipino," said De Lima.
(There's a big difference between a hero who served and died for the country and a dictator who sanctioned killings, and brought pain and sufferings to so many Filipinos.)
Imelda has been granted a temporary bail of P150,000 while she waits for the court's decision whether she is entitled to post-conviction bail. If she is, she would enjoy an extended freedom while the court decides her motion for reconsideration. If she's not, she will go to jail while appealing.
De Lima said this an injustice especially to those detained while still on trial. De Lima has been in jail almost two years for charges of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trade.
"Walang hustisya sa inuusig at ginigipit na tapat na lingkod-bayan samantalang nananatiling malaya ang mandarambong na nagkamal ng bilyon-bilyong piso mula sa kaban ng bayan," said De Lima. (There is no justice in harassing an honest public servant, while the big-time thieves who stole billions of pesos in public funds remain free.) – Rappler.com