President Rodrigo Duterte remained firm in his decision to allow the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the national hero’s cemetery, but he said this does not necessarily mean Marcos is a hero.
Giving Marcos a spot at the hero’s cemetery “doesn’t mean he’s a hero in the true sense of the word,” according to Duterte on Thursday, August 11.
He cited that the law allows former presidents and former soldiers to be laid to rest at the cemetery, so he would be violating the law if he says no to Marcos’ burial.
“The law is there existing. You read it a thousand times and you still arrive at a conclusion that he is qualified. Even if he is not a hero, he was a soldier,” Duterte said.
He added that he did not care that the US Army concluded that Marcos faked his war claims and medals about his role in World War II were fake.
“He did not receive the medal? Correct. Well, that is the record of another country. Why would I [rely] in making a decision [referring] to the records of another country?” Duterte said.
“We have long ceased to be the vassal state of the United States. Tapos na iyan. It’s history,” he added.
Pointing to the administration of former President Benigno Aquino, Duterte said that they should have revised the law regarding Marcos’ burial.
“Sana ginawa nila [Cory/Noynoy Aquino administration] ng batas na Marcos, because of his historic despotic regime, if that is what they want to tell us, should not be buried sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. Until unless they repeal that law [AFP guidelines], he can be buried there,” he said.
“I am a President and I have sworn my duty to follow the law,” Duterte said.