Army to secure Libingan ng mga Bayani for Marcos 100th birthday, says spokesman


THE Philippine Army will secure the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) for the 100th birth anniversary of former president Ferdinand Marcos on Monday, an official said on Sunday.

However, Lt. Col. Ray Tiongson, acting Army spokesman, did not say how man would be deployed, noting that it is part of operational security procedures.

“We will provide adequate personnel to support the PNP (Philippine National Police) for the civil disturbance management (CDM) if necessary,” Tiongson told reporters in a text message.

“The security inside Libingan is the same security that we have been providing. We have contingencies in place to support the PNP if necessary in the event that there will be rallies,” he added.

On Friday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that the Marcoses asked for a private celebration of their patriarch’s birthday on Sept. 11 and coordinated with the Philippine Army.

Militant groups opposing the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery will stage protests outside, according to Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes.

The activist, in a statement, even opposed President Rodrigo Duterte’s proclamation of Marcos’ birthday as a holiday in Ilocos Norte, the home province of the late strongman’s family.

“There will be mass protests on Monday to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the dictator Marcos and to condemn Duterte regime’s political rehabilitation of the late strongman,” Reyes said.

According to Tiongson, the scheduled protests will only be prohibited inside the Libingan premises “to maintain the solemnity of the place.”

Marcos was buried at Libingan in November 2016 in blitzkrieg ceremonies that surprised the nation.

The burial took place amid debates on whether the late strongman deserved a spot in the cemetery reserved for, as the name goes, heroes.

Marcos was ousted in a bloodless popular revolt in 1986 after a 20-year rule marked by the alleged killings of his political opponents.

One such foe was Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. whose death on Aug. 21, 1983 stirred a sleeping nation into action, ending the dictatorship. DEMPSEY REYES



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