President Rodrigo Duterte is aware of the surprise burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on Friday, according to Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
The PNP chief confirmed this in an interview with GMA News’ reporter Tina Panganiban-Perez before Marcos’ noon burial.
“Alam niya. Alam niya iyan. Hindi naman siya maba-blind. Wala naman tayong special attention dito. Wala [namang special instructions from]. Maniguro lang tayo na peaceful iyong paglilibing. Walang gulo na mangyayari,” Dela Rosa told reporters.
According to officials, they were only made aware of the burial for Marcos on late Thursday. Duterte left for Peru on the same day to participate in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Marcos’ surprise burial came 10 days after the Supreme Court ruled to dismiss the Martial Law victim’ petitions against the dictator’s burial.
During a media briefing on November 9, Duterte said that he already gave former Senator Bongbong Marcos the go signal to continue with the burial preparations.
Unlike Dela Rosa, the Presidential Communications Office said that they did not know about Marcos’ burial.
“So far, the PCO has no knowledge of that instruction. We don’t have any knowledge of the burial. The schedule and everything, we don’t have. Perhaps, the PNP, yes,” said PCO Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag in a press briefing at the Palace.
She added: “We don’t really know. We honestly don’t know.”
Was the burial premature given the fact that the anti-Marcos burial petitioners were still planning to file a motion for reconsideration, Banaag said that Duterte has maintained his stand that Marcos deserved to be buried at the Libingan.
“The President was so clear about that since noong campaign period pa and those who were opposing it were given the chance. They went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has decided so it’s up for the family of the late president as to when to bring the remains of the late pres at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Banaag said.