MANILA, Philippines– President Aquino has not changed his decision to disallow a hero’s burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“The position of the President remains the same,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said on Sunday, the 42nd anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of martial law.
The Palace spokesperson added that the matter of a hero’s burial for the ex-president has never come up, nor been re-discussed; hence, the decision made in 2010 – when Aquino vowed never to allow Marcos to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City – had not changed.
Marcos was ousted from power after a two-decade dictatorial rule marked corruption and brutality by the Edsa People Power Revolution in February 1986. He and his family fled to Hawaii, where he stayed until his death three years later, at the age of 72.
Then President Corazon Aquino, Benigno III’s mother, forbade the return of Marcos’ body to the Philippines; a decision which was overruled by her successor, President Fidel V. Ramos, in 1993.
Ramos allowed Marcos’s body – which arrived from Hawaii on Sept. 7, 10993 – to lie in state in Laoag City, in the latter’s home province of Ilocos Norte. The former, however, did not allow its burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Marcos was not given military honours, although the ceremonies were attended by a number of retired military generals who once served under his regime.
Succeeding administrations – under Estrada and Arroyo – denied the family’s request, as well.
In 2011, a resolution was signed by several members of the House of Representatives conceding to the family’s request, but Aquino refused to decide on the matter.
The task was passed to Vice President Jejomar Binay, who recommended that Marcos be buried with military honors in Batac.
This, however, was not acceptable to the Marcos family; and as such, the ex-president’s body still lies in state.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. last week once again stressed the desire for a burial at the Libingan for his father: “It is his right because he is a soldier and he served in the military and his record speaks for itself. And he was the longest-sitting president in our history. By rights, he should be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani. We really need to start moving forward. I think bringing us back again to that conflict does not serve its purpose now.”