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Passing the torch

Later today, the old and new generations will converge once again in a show of unity against the Marcos Burial at the Bonifacio Day rally to be held at the People Power Monument along EDSA from 4PM until midnight. In light of this protest against a dictator’s hero’s burial on a hero’s day, the HERALDO FILIPINO calls on the Lasallian community to witness the youth’s fight to take back history from those who wish to rewrite it.

DISCLAIMER: This is not an invitation to join the rally, but a request to turn on the news, read articles, and remember history so we do not willingly stay blind, deaf, and mute to this issue that calls for national interest.

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November 18 marked the beginning of the end—the day a dictator was buried and history was rewritten before our eyes. “Like a thief in the night,” as phrased by Vice President Leni Robredo, former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family continue to steal justice from the Filipino people, even from the grave. Only this time, they face a new era with a new generation ready to inherit the torch that has been passed on to them by their elders in their unified front to never forget the atrocities of the past in hopes of lighting the way for a just future.

For too long, the millennial have been dubbed rash and apathetic—most of the times proving these sentiments true. However, the recent nationwide anti-Marcos protests steered by the youth sector have started to rewrite that stereotype as our generation is already answering the call to take charge of our own future.

In response to the Marcos loyalists who state that we have no say in the matter since we weren’t alive when Martial Law happened, we at HERALDO FILIPINO have only this to say:

You do not need to have lived through World War II to know that Hitler is evil.

You do not need to be a slave to know that slavery is wrong.

You do not need to be in Syria to know that ISIS are terrorists.

You do not need to be a Martial Law victim to know that Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was, is, and will never be, a hero to the nation.

We may not have been alive during Martial Law, but we have been educated by our parents and our teachers to know better than to be fooled by this recent shameful act. Yes, not everyone who is buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a hero; however, not all heroes are buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Beyond the surface of this hasty burial, we witness, more than anything, the proven fact that not all that is legal is moral.

Beyond the tragic facts of Martial Law when countless thousands were tortured, kidnapped, and killed, the most crucial message that our generation is fighting for is not anarchy or fighting against the system, but peace. Peace—which is only possible when truth breeds justice, justice breeds forgiveness, and forgiveness breeds peace. As expressed by our own admirable in-campus Black Friday silent protestors led by Father Mark and the campus church leaders: truth, justice, and accountability are what our nation need to move on—not the glorification of a dictator with a hasty hero’s burial.

In a show of shocking solidarity, we the millennial are not only fighting for our past, but for our future generations so that they do not become victims by historical revisionism. If we are to know who we can be in the future, we must first remember who we once were, or else we will lose sight of who we are now. In this instance, the past, present, and future meet at a precipice, created by Marcos’ burial as it challenges the very idea of justice and national healing. And the youth have answered that challenge, taking their online posts to the streets, proving that we’re more capable of rage and passion than anyone could have ever expected.

Crushing the indifferent persona stapled onto the youth, the young leaders marching at the forefront of this national protest hold dear the one teaching of the elders that passed us the torch: neutrality is the answer only for the indifferent. Neutrality is a stage, not a position—time has called on us to take a side, as silence encourages only the tyrants, never the victims.

And as the youth have shown in the recent protests, we are indeed “temperamental brats,” but we’re brats who won’t stay silent at the course this nation takes.