Amid the heated debate and the petition filed by human rights victims to oppose the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Marcos’ supporters presented one widely shared argument – even former President Corazon Aquino’s dog was buried at the heroes’ cemetery. Why should other people oppose Marcos’ internment at the same cemetery?
This claim was even widely shared by the supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has maintained his decision to bury Marcos at the Libingan because he was a former soldier and president.
One of the Duterte fan pages on Facebook even posted this caption: “Corazon Aquino, who grabbed political power by coup d’ etat but deceptively called it “People Power,” who allowed a presidential dog to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani complete with a tombstone and military honors. Cory Aquino insulted the entire Filipino people because nobody and nobody would idolize their Presidential dog as hero.”
It turned out that this quote was obtained from an Opinion article on Manila Standard entitled “No right to question Marcos’ burial,” written by Rod Kapunan.
Here are the screen captures of the blogs shared by mostly Duterte fan pages claiming that no one protested when the late Cory Aquino ordered the security bomb-sniffing dog of her Presidential Security Group (PSG) be buried at the heroes’ cemetery:
Based on the comments, Duterte and Marcos’ supporters believed that the PSG dog was indeed buried at the Libingan ng mga bayani.
However, THIS IS NOT TRUE.
According to the March 21, 1992 issue of New Straits Times, the dog was buried at the Malacañang Park.
“Shadow, which had sniffed around in search of bombs at gatherings to be attended by Aquino, was buried on Tuesday with military honors and drum roll in the park of the presidential palace, the coffin draped in the Philippine flag. A guard of honor fired a graveside salute,” the newspaper said.
The newspaper added that the Labrador served as Aquino’s security guard for six years.
The military honors accorded to a dog was something the Aquino administration did not give to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
When comparison between the burial for the dog and Marcos arose, then deputy Press Secretary Lourdes Sytangco said, “This is a strictly military tradition. I don’t think it should relate to the late President, it would be insulting. Dogs are not accused of raping the economy.”
According to Rappler’s Newsbreak, the president of the Philippines gets a set of PSG dogs. Even Duterte has his own security dogs, mostly German Shepherds.
Although giving Shadow military honors sparked controversy, other dogs in the military or police were also accorded the same tributes in the past. The latest of which was the police dog Geraldine of the PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 13. The dog was laid to rest like a fallen comrade by the members of the RPSB 13. According to the ABS-CBN report, Geraldine’s body was wrapped with a Philippine flag when she was buried in the compound of the RPSB 13 in Butuan.
To clear things up, no police or military dog of former President Cory Aquino was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. And even other dogs serving as law enforcers’ aids, not just Aquino’s PSG dog, were accorded military honors too.
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