MANILA, Philippines – In spite of the nonstop rain, throngs of Filipinos trooped to Luneta on Sunday, August 14, to protest President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).
Like the 2013 "Million People March" rally that called for the abolition of pork barrel, social media played a major part in Sunday's protest.
There was a growing sentiment among netizens declaring their disapproval of the hero's burial for Marcos. Those voices eventually coalesced through a Facebook event page called "Citizens' Assembly Against The Marcos Burial In LNMB."
On the page, it is indicated that 32,000 people were invited, 4,900 of whom "went" and another 3,500 were "interested." One of them is 21-year-old Arvin Buenaaguas who has a very clear stance on the matter:
21 yo Arvin Buenaaguas says a referendum can be an option but it should bot dictate whether Marcos is a hero or not pic.twitter.com/4O7FpY8Ed4 — Patty Pasion (@pattypasion) August 14, 2016
Public figures like former presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II, former budget secretary Butch Abad, Senator Leila de Lima, and former represntative Walden Bello were also reported to be present at the event.
While the actual number of people attending the rally may be higher or lower than what the Facebook event page indicates, the figures still show that the issue is of great concern to a portion of Filipinos.
Fortifying that claim: the hashtags "#MarcosIsNotAHero," "#MarcosFakeHero," and "#MarcosBurial" and location "Rizal Park" were in the top 10 of local trending topics as of 12:21 pm, Manila time.
These are some of the tweets appearing under those banners. You may click on the banners to see the posts on Twitter:
Lolo brought very young me to Luneta in the 80s to protest against Marcos. Balik Luneta para sa kanya. #MarcosIsNotAHero — Maria Mendoza (@AlindogniMaria) August 14, 2016
If you think #MarcosIsNotAHero then we'll accept your opinion. :) but take note; it doesn't mean that Ninoy is the real Hero here :) — Chai (@sandroisfly) August 14, 2016
Digong, akala ko ba u don't owe anybody anything? Clearly, this is a repayment for getting the ilocandia support. #MarcosIsNotAHero — Jong Q (@JongQui75) August 14, 2016
Marcos to be buried in LNMB, but his family still refuses to account for all injustices commited during the Marcos era. #MarcosIsNotAHero — Adi Briones (@AdiBriones) August 14, 2016
The Philippines should get an olympic gold medal for fastest country to forget its history #MarcosIsNotAHero — Renee Karunungan (@rjkarunungan) August 14, 2016
Protesters sing "Bayan Ko" to end the Anti #MarcosBurial rally in Luneta pic.twitter.com/V7oRftuuMb | via @MartinSanDiego #RStream — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) August 14, 2016
Sen Risa Hontiveros says #MarcosBurial at LNMB a 'crazy' idea @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/PD4eTEqtVH — Patty Pasion (@pattypasion) August 14, 2016
NO to #MarcosBurial at LNMB. Bury him anywhere else, just not next to soldiers who actually upheld their values. — ayanna (@chrdawn) August 14, 2016
"Sundalo si Marcos. #FEMrealHERO" Sundalo rin si Hitler. Bayani ba siya? #MarcosIsNotAHero #MarcosBurial #NoToMarcosBurialAtLNMB — i (@akosiicko) August 14, 2016
Photo from the Presidential museum & library. #MarcosBurial #MarcosIsNotAHero #NeverAgain pic.twitter.com/T7wKap5MsT — Darwin Awards (@DarwinAwardsPH) August 14, 2016
Ninoy did not ask to be declared a hero. But the Filipinos gave him a hero's burial. #MarcosFakeHero @AnnMG51 pic.twitter.com/JNw9xLX4N9 — didibu (@DidibuR79) August 13, 2016
Archimedes Trajano, 21. Tortured and killed after questioning Imee's credentials in a school forum. #MarcosFakeHero pic.twitter.com/4iTQhHxBbB — Giancarlo Garcia (@giandrocketman) August 13, 2016
#MarcosFakeHero Credits to @CarloJosePanesa and @jnromeroii pic.twitter.com/JdeXvDEGxl — Albert Pagunsan (@albert_pagunsan) August 13, 2016
Marcos proves that you can get away with mass murder and corruption as long as you make really tall buildings and roads ☺☺☺ #MarcosFakeHero — Caaaaat (｡･ω･｡) (@thecatmarauder) August 13, 2016
Mga dilawan shut up na lang kayo. Mga pansariling kapakanan ang inuuna ninyo. Luneta Rizal Park — leon ergit (@dc_nhoel) August 14, 2016