Today, the greatest dictator that the Philippines has ever seen has been buried at a cemetery meant for heroes.
So, I apologize.
I apologize on behalf of those who refuse to see, and who stick to the belief that his reign was the “golden era” of our nation. I apologize to all the victims of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law. I apologize to the 3,000 that were killed, 34,000 that were tortured, 70,000 imprisoned, and to all who had to suffer from the regime.
I apologize on behalf of those who remain ignorant. I apologize to the little girls who lost their parents, to the parents who lost their little girls. I apologize to those who never had a chance to say goodbye to their friends. I apologize to the people who had to walk away from detention cells with broken bones and bruises and cigarette burns and no justice ever served to them.
I apologize on behalf of those who tell us to “move on.” For the fact that they do not recognize how it is impossible to move on when faults are never acknowledged, when murderers run unpunished, and apologies denied. I am sorry because they do not see that faults can never be forgotten and forgiven if not even recognition is given. I apologize to those who were raped, beaten, tortured, and were told to “move on,” instead of being told “Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.” I apologize that some victims will never be buried, while the dictator is–with a filmed ceremony and a 21-gun salute
I apologize that I can do nothing more than shout in the streets and write this, while the bodies of the true heroes writhe in their sleep, because their murderer lies right beside them tonight.
I apologize, and I promise I will fight. I will fight until it is possible for me to fight. I will fight for those who fought for me, until history is one where heroes remain heroes and murderers, murderers. I will try to be a part of the hope that they have asked us to be, and stand guard until true justice is served.
After everything, it is the least I can do.