President Rodrigo Duterte gave the go signal for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City, despite criticism. He insisted that Marcos deserves a hero’s burial because he was a former president. According to former Senator Bongbong Marcos, preparations are underway for the ceremony, which will be held on September 18.
Duterte’s move to honor Marcos as a hero was opposed by many government officials, not only the public.
Robredo says Marcos is no hero
For one, Vice President Leni Robredo has voiced out her concerns about giving Marcos a hero’s burial. Robredo gave a statement coursed through the Office of the Vice President on how Marcos is no hero, how he plundered the Philippines and abused the Filipinos, and how he does not deserve to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani when he “greatly committed crimes and moral turpitude to the Filipino people.”
She also hit the Marcos family, saying that they still failed to acknowledge their sins against the Filipinos, felt no remorse about what they did, and prevented the return of their stolen wealth to the country.
[A] Statement of VP Leni Robredo on the Decision to Bury President Marcos in Libingan ng mga Bayani pic.twitter.com/9LRuIF2Sfb
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) August 8, 2016
Franklin Drilon says Marcos burial will only reopen wounds of the past
Senator Franklin Drilon urged Duterte to rethink his decision to allow Marcos to be buried a hero.
“At this point in the history of our country where Filipinos are starting to hope again, what our nation need is unity in order for our country to succeed socially, economically and politically. Hence, such as a sensitive issue would not help but only divide our people and reopen the wounds of the past that up to now, were not completely healed,” Drilon said.
Kiko Pangilinan says burying murderer, thief Marcos is teaching kids to honor his kind
Senator Kiko Pangilinan has strong words against the late strongman, calling him a murderer and a thief and how hailing and burying him as a hero now is like teaching our kids to honor criminals like him.
Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a Senate resolution against Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, saying the cemetery as a designated resting place for Filipino war veterans, soldiers, and citizens considered as heroes and martyrs, rendering Marcos “unfit” for the place.
In the resolution, she noted how the Marcos’ estate was found “liable to 10,059 plaintiffs for the acts of torture, summary execution and disappearance, citing this as enough proof to disqualify Marcos from being buried at the Libingan.
“Allowing the former President to be buried at the Libingan will only cause further divisiveness, and will reopen old wounds, especially as the country is also in the process of providing reparations to Martial Law victims,” Hontiveros said.
The senator also noted how Duterte campaigned against oligarchs contradicted himself by giving Marcos, “the very man who created a crony oligarchy during Martial Law,” a hero’s burial.
Leila De Lima urges Martial Law victims to file class suit to stop Marcos’ burial
“I put forward the idea of a possible injunctive class suit by the victims or the families of the victims of the years of oppression and abuses during the Martial Law era,” De Lima told the media in the Senate.
She also suggested a review of the qualifications of hero’s burials at the Libingan.
“Puwede ring magsulong ng panukalang batas para maging mas malinaw ang standards,” the senator said.
She then enumerated the current standards on who should be buried at the hero’s cemetery – former presidents, fallen servicemen, and dignitaries with exemplary services to the Philippines.
She added that given these standards, Marcos would qualify for a hero’s burial.
“But even the rationale for putting up that Libingan ng mga Bayani, these are martyrs, heroes, people who rendered great deeds for the country in the service of the Filipino people. But when you have someone whether a former president or former military officer… but history tells us and shows us na may malaking kasalanan sa bayan, qualified ba?” she questioned.
De Lima cited this as enough reason to “think of standards.”
Alan Peter Cayetano, Koko Pimentel disagree with Duterte’s decision
Two of Duterte’s closest allies in the Senate, his former running mate Alan Peter Cayetano, and his party-mate, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, voiced out their opposition of Marcos’ burial the hero’s cemetery.
“I have a difference of opinion with the President there. I’m just happy he announced it soon, because it is now a public debate and let us hear the opinions of everyone. I see the point of the President that if it’s a completely legal issue, he (Marcos) is entitled to it. But the name is Libingan ng mga Bayani. While he had heroic moments in his life, we do not consider him totally heroic because of the things that happened during martial law. Unless we change the name to Libingan ng mga Bayani at Diktador,” Cayetano said, as quoted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Pimentel also addressed the issue, saying it has long been a subject of debate among PDP-Laban members, who voted half for and half against the dictator’s hero’s burial.
“If I were President, I would not allow it. I don’t consider him a hero. But I am not the President. So we will respect the decision of the President,” Pimentel told the media.