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Jose Rizal is not buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.
Nor is Antonio Luna. Not Claro M. Recto. Nor Gabriela and Diego Silang. Not Macli-ing Dulag!
Nobody really knows where lie the bodies of thousands of Filipinos—heroes and heroines—who offered their lives fighting against the Spaniards, the Americans, and the Japanese.
Nobody really knows where lie the bodies of countless students, church workers, laborers, farmers, fisher-folk, comrades—heroes and heroines—who disappeared during the Marcos Regime. And the countless more who have disappeared during the Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo, and Aquino regimes.
Philippine soil from the Cordilleras to Mount Apo is nourished by the blood of fallen sisters and brothers in unmarked, mass, shallow graves. Just like Andres Bonifacio, the First President of the Philippines, who at 34 was executed with his brother, Procopio, and whose bodies were robbed of garments and then thrown naked into a hastily dug grave.
Heroines and heroes, all of them. And each of them are alive. In our collective memories. In our hearts. In the visions of justice, peace, land, and liberation for all that they shared with us.
Marcos, on the other hand, is no hero. A hero’s burial does not make one a hero. Never has. Never will.
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