MANILA – The people should decide on whether Ferdinand E. Marcos should be buried at the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani” (LNMB) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, former president Fidel V. Ramos said Saturday.
This does not mean a survey or plebiscite, he said.
“I said officially let the people decide. Who are the people? Our representatives and senators now sitting in Congress representing and belonging to House of Representatives (and) the Senate of the Philippines,” Ramos stressed.
And to make Marcos’ burial official, these representatives must get a “majority resolution” and if not, then no interment will take place, he added.
“Of course the President has the authority to do anything within the resolution and enactment of (the) Congress of Philippines beyond the authority given to him under the Constitution as Chief Executive and as Commander-in-Chief, so it’s up to him decide,” Ramos added.
Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced that he is authorizing the burial of former president Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
Ramos also said that when they decided to allow Marcos’ body to return to the Philippines in 1992, three years after his death in 1989, certain conditions were imposed to safeguard the country from possible destabilization.
“During our time 1992 to 1998, you must understand that we allowed the remains of the late President Marcos to return to the Philippines under certain conditions because of the possible destabilization of the country unless there were certain safeguards adopted. You will recall that he died in 1989, he came in 1992, (the) wounds of the People Power Revolution of 1986 which ejected the Marcos Martial Regime (were still fresh),” he added.
“So we were very careful enough to make sure that the welfare of the people of the Philippines would be protected by the prevention of any angry or tension-filled peoples’ movement,” Ramos stressed.
The former president also added they decided to allow the return of Marcos’ body as they believed that the latter should not be forever detained in Hawaii since it is not his homeland.
The four conditions set by the then Ramos government in exchange for the return of the remains of the former president were: that it would be flown straight from Hawaii to Paoay, Ilocos Norte; that he would be given honors befitting a major in the AFP, because it was his last rank in the AFP; that he would not be paraded in Metro Manila because at that time anti-Marcos sentiments were still fresh; and that he would be buried in Ilocos Norte, not in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.
Ramos said these conditions were explained to the Marcos family, who were then represented by Ilocos Norte Rep. Roquito Ablan and former First Lady Imelda Marcos, by then Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael Alunan III.
Alunan said a copy of this agreement could be obtained from the Malacañang archives.
“So those were the conditions we signed (in the) agreement. I think the agreement is still in the archives of Malacañang. So if you wish to get a copy of the agreement that was signed between me and Cong. Ablan, please go ahead and secure a copy from Malacañang, “ he added.