Celia Lamkin, joined by other volunteers, came together yesterday evening in a peaceful protest against the hero’s burial accorded to former Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. The protest was in collaboration with other protest movements held worldwide.
On Saipan, the rally took place at the San Jose intersection, with participants holding up protest signs.
Lamkin said, “We want [Philippine president Rodrigo] Duterte to to be held accountable as to why Marcos was buried in the heroes’ cemetery, even if the nine justices (or what we call injustices) of the Philippine Supreme Court approved the burial. President Duterte had the power to stop it but he didn’t.”
Lamkin is founder and chair of the Bayani, Bayan Bago Sarili. Their mission is to inculcate patriotism and about loving one’s country in the minds of the youth.
“One of the Marcos victims was a very old friend of mine named Archmides Trajano. In 1997 he attended a forum that had a relative of Marcos present. My classmate questioned her qualification for wanting to be the president of a youth council. He was found [dead] the following day. [It was] portrayed as if he committed suicide. Actually, he was abducted, tortured, and killed,” Lamkin said.
One of yesterday’s participants, Guan Jacayan, said, “It’s not good and it’s not fair to not have a say about Marcos being buried among heroes. I am Ilocano [from Ilocos, where Marcos came from] but I don’t support it. People from Ilocos are just not vocal about it.”
“On Nov. 18, 2016, nine justices approved the burial of Marcos in the heroes’ cemetery. That was the death, I would say, of Philippine democracy. When Marcos was buried secretly, things just got confirmed,” Lamkin said. “[Marcos] was basically buried like a thief in the night.”