What are the chances of a Duterte change of heart on the Marcos burial?

President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his unchanging stand on the Marcos burial issue, and that is to have Marcos buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB). More so now that the SC has upheld the matter.

“I will not take my word back,” Duterte told Bongbong Marcos recently when the latter asked if they could proceed with the burial preparations. Duterte had given his firm go signal on the matter and said he wouldn’t be swayed to change his mind.

It would be recalled how Duterte had strongly worded his adamant insistence that no one and nothing can influence him to change his mind on the Marcos burial issue.

“Alam mo kapag nagbitaw ako ng salita, ‘yun na ‘yun. Magpakamatay na ako diyan (If I have already released the words, that’s it. I am willing to stake my life on it),” Duterte had told Martial Law victims during a press conference in May of this year as reported by Inquirer.

“Bantayan niyo ang salita ko,” (watch my word) the president had challenged them.


But some militant lawmakers seem to think otherwise. They believe Duterte could still change his mind once massive protests are launched against a Marcos hero’s burial. They are probably hanging on to how Duterte sometimes backtracks on his word and dismiss it as a mere joke.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate confirmed that demonstrations will happen in the coming days while protesters await the motion for reconsideration (MR) against the burial to be filed soon. It is a last ditch move to reverse the Supreme Court (SC) ruling stating that there is no legal basis to disallow Marcos’ burial at the LNMB.

Zarate said during a media briefing: “Kailangan magpakita ng mobilisasyon (A show of mobilization is needed). At this point, gusto rin namin ipaabot kahit na nagsalita na si Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte na papayagan na niya ang pagpapalibing, pinapakita pa rin natin sa kanya na i-reconsider ang kanyang desisyon.” (Despite President Duterte’s approval of the burial, we still want to convey to him to re-consider his decision).

“Ang isang malaking konsiderasyon dito ay kung makita niya na may malawakang pagkilos laban dito,” Zarate added. (One big consideration here is if he sees the overwhelming protests against it).

On the other hand, Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Jane Elago revealed how youth protesters would do a nationwide “Youth Day of Rage” protest to go on opposing a hero’s burial for Marcos.


“Ito ay para sabihin na (This is to say), ‘Never again. Never Forget.’ Hindi na dapat maulit ang lahat ng injustice na nangyari noong Martial Law,” Elago said. (Injustices done during Martial Law should never be repeated).

Zarate lambasted the nine SC justices who voted for a hero’s burial for the late strongman, saying, “Nagpatali sila sa makitid na teknikal na pagtingin sa batas.” (They let themselves be bound by the narrow technical manner of seeing the law).

Zarate claimed that the SC majority also failed to cite any law to base their decision on, aside from merely mentioning a memorandum of the Armed Forces of the Philippines permitting a hero’s rites.

The lawmakers against a hero’s burial for Marcos made their pronouncements even if President Duterte already announced his firm decision favoring a Marcos burial at the LNMB.

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