Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Philippine bishops’ conference, decried the treatment supporters of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos accorded to the monument of national hero, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., in the province of Tarlac.
“A nation that treats its villains like heroes and its heroes like villains has nowhere to go but down the drain,” he said, adding that this kind of nation “will be treated with contempt by the community of nations that used to be inspired by the fabled nobility of its citizens now gone.”
Bishop David posted on Facebook the comment after photographs of Aquino’s monument in Tarlac, the home province of the Aquino clan, went viral on social media. The monument was blocked by a tent and was covered by posters of Marcos.
The Marcos camp held a political rally over the weekend in Tarlac’s Plazuela, where a monument dedicated to remember the late former senator, a key opposition figure during the time of late former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., stood.
The Aquino monument faces the very stage where Marcos Jr. appealed to the people of Tarlac to elect him as president on May 9.
Aquino was assassinated at the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983, and his death served as one of the triggers to what would later become the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that ousted Marcos from power.
Aquino’s wife, the late president Corazon Cojuanco Aquino later challenged Marcos Sr. in the 1986 snap elections where she suffered a controversial loss to the strongman, prompting what was dubbed as the People Power Revolution.
“If this is how we treat the memory of a man whose death helped save our country from the long dark years of tyranny and dictatorship, and whose blood watered the seeds of aspiration for the restoration of our freedom and democracy, then it must be said that he was wrong in believing that ‘The Filipino is worth dying for,’” the bishop posted on social media on Sunday, April 3.
Mayor Cristy Angeles of Tarlca who endorsed Marcos Jr.’s candidacy “it’s time for forgiveness and healing,” when asked about the criticisms on social media about the monument.