Former President Benigno Aquino III made his decision clear on the proposal to give the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, said his former spokesperson Abigail Valte on August 17.
In a Facebook post, Valte addressed Aquino’s supposed “inaction” on the hero’s burial for Marcos, as accused by Joey Salgado, former Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesperson.
“Contrary to Joey Salgado’s claim, former President Benigno S. Aquino III did make a decision during his term regarding the proposal to bury former President Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” she said in her statement.
“Consistent with PNoy’s stand during the campaign, he reiterated his objection to the proposal as quoted in an interview with the Associated Press last June 2011: “Not on my watch.” That is as categorical as one can get,” she added.
In Salgado’s statement posted by the Inquirer on their Facebook page, Binay’s spokesperson said “the Aquino administration missed an opportunity” to put an end to the burial issue for Marcos by failing to act on Binay’s recommendation in 2011 to have the dictator’s remains buried in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Salgado added that Binay, who was assigned to study the burial issue in April 2011, consulted political parties, organizations, sectors, the public, and the Marcoses, receiving more than 3,000 responses.
“In June 2011, Vp Binay submitted to Aquino his recommendation to allow the burial of Marcos in Batac, Ilocos Norte. The former Vp noted that the burial of Marcos in Batac had the approval of the Marcos family,” he said in his statement.
And he did not mince words in blaming Aquino for the current heated situation regarding Marcos’ hero’s burial.
But Valte has a response to this accusation.
She posted a part of former Vice President Binay’s May 27, 2011 letter to PNoy to remind and counter Salgado’s accusations.
“1) That we allow the burial of the remains of the late President Ferdinand Marcos in a site of their choice in the province of Ilocos Norte. The representatives of Marcos family interpose no objection to such a burial,” Binay’s letter said, as quoted by Valte.
She continued, “The so-called agreement between the Marcoses and VP Binay to the burial “in a site of their choice in the province of Ilocos Norte” was swiftly disavowed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos, who reiterated their wish to have the dictator Marcos buried in LNMB.”
Valte added that the discussion about the issue was at an impasse and urged Salgado to ask Marcos about this.
She also emphasized how Aquino’s approval was no longer needed if Binay indeed got the Marcoses to agree to bury their patriarch in Ilocos Norte.
“Furthermore, assuming for the sake of argument that an agreement had truly been reached between VP Binay and the Marcoses to bury the remains in a site of the family’s choosing in Ilocos Norte, would such burial still require presidential action? It does not,” Valte said.
She added that her statement would hopefully clarify “Salgado’s sordid attempt to throw shade on PNoy on this issue.”
Duterte also heaped the blame on Cory and Benigno Aquino III’s administrations for not passing a law banning Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery.
“Alam mo kasi, kung ginusto nila – and they were already in power at the time, itong mga yellow – dapat nagpasa sila ng batas na hindi puwedeng ilibing si Marcos when the guy was already in Guam in exile. They should have passed a law prohibiting Marcos if he ever comes home dead to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani… But nothing has been done. Bakit kinalimutan ang elementary procedure na yan?” Duterte said on August 11, as quoted by Rappler.
“Yellow” became the two Aquino presidents’ signature colors during their administration, which later became the color of the Liberal Party.
Duterte has so far remained firm in his decision to allow Marcos to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery, insisting that he is only following the law, despite oppositions and criticisms. But the Malacañang said in its latest statement about the issue that it would respect the Supreme Court’s ruling on Marcos’ final resting place.