Philippine Senate panel approves bill declaring ‘Marcos Day’ a special non-working holiday

Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos Sr.

THE bill seeking to declare September 11 as a special non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth anniversary of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos has been approved by a Senate committee.

The Senate Committee on Local Government on Monday, October 26, approved HB 7137, authored by Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Ria Fariñas, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, and Probinsyano Ako Rep. Rudys Caesar Fariñas.

The virtual hearing was attended by eight members of the committee — Senators Francis Tolentino, Sherwin Gatchalian, Cynthia Villar, Christopher Lawrence Go, Ronald de la Rosa, Emmanuel Joel Villanueva, Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay and Marcos daughter Imee Marcos.

However, Binay clarified that she did not vote on the measure’s approval.

“I did not vote for the approval of House Bill No. 7137,” Binay said on Wednesday, October 28.

“I had to leave the hybrid hearing of the Senate committee on local government after the discussion on the re-districting of the province of Bulacan due to a prior commitment. Thus, I was no longer a part of the hearing when House Bill No. 7137 was tackled and discussed,” she added.

Binay also stressed that she would not support “any bill that would cause historical revisionism.”

Meanwhile, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan questioned the Senate committee’s endorsement of the bill.

“Congress, in enacting the Human Rights Compensation Measure in 2013, recognized the widespread abuses and atrocities committed by the Marcos regime and apportioned 10 billion pesos as compensation to thousands of its victims taken from proceeds of recovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses,” he noted.

“The amount of 10 billion pesos was declared as ill-gotten by no less than our Supreme Court. It would be inappropriate to honor a tyrant and a thief,” he added.

Pangilinan also asked why the bill was being pushed while the country is in the middle of a pandemic.

Marcos, the 10th President of the Republic of the Philippines, was born on September 11, 1917 in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.

In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 310 which declared Sept. 11 as a special non-working day in Ilocos Norte to mark Marcos’ birth anniversary.

The proclamation stated that the Ilocano community would be given the opportunity to commemorate “his life and contributions to national development as a World War II veteran, distinguished legislator, and former president.”

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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