Exhume Marcos’ remains? It means take Marcos out of our hearts?



First read
The virulent campaign and protest of the Yellows and the Reds to stop the burial of President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMB) has descended to downright lunacy.

Now that Marcos has been interred there in simple rites and with appropriate honors on Friday, November 19, anti-Marcos troops are regrouping and recharging their batteries for a new fight – the exhumation of the Marcos remains.

I thought I had written my last word on this controversy, when I wrote last August 16 the column, “Marcos’ burial at Libingan is an act of civilization.” (Times, August 16, 2016).

I explored there the theme that the country needed this interment more than President Marcos and his family, because it is a debt of justice and a mirror of the people and the nation we are. We needed him properly and respectfully interred, so we can become a country that works.

Quiet dignity and civility
The Marcos interment on Friday was expertly carried out with quiet dignity and solemnity, with the Armed Forces rendering him full military honors and the Marcos family in attendance.

It transpired as it should have, with neither crowds of supporters nor haters around to cause a ruckus and disfigure the event. Marcos, whom I personally remember as an austere, disciplined and thoughtful leader would have approved of the way his official burial was efficiently carried out.

In a perceptive piece on civil rights and civility, the writer Ellen Goodman wrote memorably: “Civil rights protect individuals. Civility protects the community. Individuals plead their own case in the courts. Who leads the case for community?”

The speed and secrecy with which the interment was executed caught both Marcos critics and supporters off-guard. Both were planning to attend the event: one to desecrate Marcos’ memory, and the other to pay fitting tribute to him.

But it was not to be. The Marcos family and key government-military officials correctly judged that a very public funeral, with the media in full attendance would be nerve-wracking and unmanageable, because the Marcos protesters, principally the Reds and the Yellows, were determined to cause as much disruption as possible. And Marcos supporters, in turn, would also be determined to hold their ground and protect their space.

A standoff, maybe even violence, was in prospect. And it was thoughtfully avoided.

Gritting their teeth, vowing to exhume
Strangely, for an event that the Marcos family has been preparing for and had envisioned since Marcos’ death in 1989, and which the Supreme Court has legitimated with its decision to deny all petitions to void or delay the interment at Libingan, the anti-Marcos camp claimed that the Marcoses disarmed them of their right to protest by not informing them beforehand (but why on earth should they be informed?). They declared that Marcos was buried by stealth, and on the sly, like “a thief in the night.” They claimed that the usually endless judicial process of postpone, delay and appeal, had not yet been exhausted, only to be told that no motion for reconsideration had been filed with the Supreme Court.

It was in these circumstances that the anti-Marcos camp has come up with their final threat and stratagem — to seek a court-ordered exhumation of Marcos’ remains.

First off the gate with his mouth was Sen. Francis Pangilinan, the nominal president of the Liberal Party. He immediately called for the exhumation of Marcos’ remains and their transfer to another place.

Said he: “He may have been buried there but this does not mean he will remain buried there. Because as long as there are people fighting against abuse and dictatorship, we will push that his remains be transferred. We will work tirelessly to undo this monumental injustice.”

Rep. Edcel Lagman, who was among the petitioners against a hero’s burial for Marcos, says their next move is to file a motion to exhume the remains.

He said they would try to determine whether the remains interred at Libingan was really the body of Marcos.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, never one to miss a chance to be quoted in the media, has lent his name to the exhumation initiative. He told the media that the high court can still rule to undo the interment. He held out the far-fetched hope that the SC’s temporary restraining order may still be in force, with Marcos already entombed.

Marcos is in the heart
The problem that the Reds and the Yellows and the politicians must confront is an existential one.

They may say what they wish to disparage and diminish Marcos’ memory. But to paraphrase what the writer Carlos Bulosan said, “Marcos is in the heart” of most Filipinos. He is ever in our thoughts these days.

I suspect that if a serious survey were to be conducted today, the overwhelming majority of our people would favor his interment at the Libingan. They would own to an abiding loyalty and admiration for Marcos that they do not accord to our other presidents. Marcos, I dare say, would come second to President Duterte in favorability rating with Filipinos today.

Exhuming Marcos’ remains is a Sisyphean venture. As in the myth, it would be like pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll back down once you get to the summit.

Exhume Ferdinand Marcos’ remains? You might as well say that the challenge is to take him out from our hearts.

For that is, I believe, where the man really and truly is.

Exhumation is a task for fools. It is like that old fantasy of the Yellow Cult, getting Cory Aquino canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.



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  1. Ferdinand E. Marcos brought up the High Standard of Living to the Nation and all Filipino people during his regime.

    A Great Leader of All Times in History and No One is Greater than him as President of the Philippine Republic … Marcos Pa rin!

  2. I agree that Lolo FVR is hypocrite, opportunist & greedy! At least JPE is very quiet about this issue. Because he knows that he’s just as guilty as FEM & FVR. He admitted that the reason he went against FEM then was he was scared he be killed by Ver’s boys cause was a traitor to FEM.

  3. Well written! I’ve been living outside the Philippines for the past 50 years. What I couldn’t understand about the Filipino people – being 90% Christians including the Catholic Church! Marcos had been gone for many years now and whatever atrocities had happened during his days should now forgotten and forgiven by the Filipino people. Some of his accomplices – Ramos & Enrile – are still alive and reaping the fruits of their labor during those years. What happened to Marcos when he was ousted was enough punishment for him. Forgive and forget and you’d be all better Filipino people! Exhuming his remains? That’s ridiculous! Have they done it to Hitler other dictators? Are we not human beings or are we lower forms like monkeys!

  4. Very well said. While the rest of the nation is looking forward to a bright future, Pimentel-Pangilinan-Lagman look backwards.

  5. what would the Red and the YEllow be without the marcoses until now they are still parasites that insists on their rights to be heard (YOU HAVE 30 Years).
    If the non burial of Marcos makes the Philippines rich with interest per day or per minute. I would have been with the Anti But it doesn’t do anything, Marcos is immaterial for the Filipinos anymore the Aquinos wont have a springboard for incompetent politicians and the Reds dont have the cause for their so called revolution anymore.
    Just a question if the Reds were so intent on Fighting for the poor , why havent they overtaken Hacienda Luisita.

  6. According to a Pres. Marcos supporter Provided a yellowtard/red leader will be buried their (alive) in his place, lagman and Renato Reyes will be most fitting… marcos supporters will drag them to his grave in his place.

    Try it Anti Marcos….

  7. If the Marcos’es are as bad as these leftist protesters portray, then they should vigorously campaign throughout the nation AGAINST any Marcos that will run for public office! The problem with these protesters is that most of their instigators are professional protesters – that is they don’t have real jobs which is why they have all the time to organize these protests. To make things worse, the constitution has been prostituted to ensure that designated representatives of these leftist groups are assured of getting cushy jobs as congressmen which means they get to use govt money to fund their protests against the same government that gave them the money!

    • These Yellow Cults/ Marcos Haters/ Anti-Marcos continue to divide our country. Why not ask congress to pass a Law, that all structures that was Pres. Marcos built such as: Road and Bridges, Irrigation, Hospitals, Schools or Universities, etc, should not allow to be used by these Yellow Cults. e.g. Batasang Pambansa Complex , the house of lower and upper congress. Tignan natin kung ano ang gagamitin ng mga Yellow Cults. NLEX and SLEX should not be used these Yellow Cults Senators and Congressmen.

  8. “Exhumation is a task for fools. It is like that old fantasy of the Yellow Cult, getting Cory Aquino canonized as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.” , or the delusional aspiration of bsAquino and minions for a Nobel Peace Prize.

  9. Why the Yellows and Reds are not accusing Enrile and Ramos???? because, once these Y&R touch them, their lies will be exposed. So, it is win-win solution don’t touch my past and I will not touch your future.

  10. Beautifully written! Hope our country could unite but the hatred and supposedly spiritual leaders of some Church are teaching what is I can call un-Christian teaching.

  11. Yes! Marcos is in our hearts! Noted to Kiko! There’s a place for him in HELL! Isama pa nya si Lagman and the Ramoses! Opportunist all!

  12. Why doesn’t the exhumation crew focus in unearthing the fetid budhi of the yellows – corrupt, vindictive, full of insatiable hunger for power, immoral, mga BS or bantay salakay, incorrigible liars, conjurers of twisted stands, self-righteous, bigots, etc…?

  13. I used to believed that Marcos was bad, but after 3 decades of the yellow supremacy I realized we were damn taken for a ride. San Juanico bridge and road widening in Samar is just one of Marcos project and one of my favourite. I dare say to people who disrespect the former president.: Manigas kayo dahil mas lalo minamahal ang taong inaapi?

  14. indeed, a tru hero will never be forgotten, those who experienced what he did may die too, but the hero MARCOS is a heritage that will be passed down from one generation to another.

    soon H.E. F.E.M. will be justified by the glaring heroic acts that he did as evidenced by the institutions he built and no other president has surpassed that

  15. The Supreme Court must in contempt of court those members of Legislative Branch who
    Bad-mouth any final decision of the supreme court, at least pangilinan, Lagman, & Pimentel.

    The Aquinos are indeed Communists. Cory was a Communist. Her father-in-law Benigno Aquino the father of Noynoy Aquino is a traitor during the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines. Aquino was a “MAKAPILI” who pointed with his finger fellow Filipinos to the Japanese for slaughter while his face was hidden with a bayong bag. The Aquinos destroyed the dignity of the Office of the President.

    Pres. Duterte has boldly restored the dignity of the Office of the President The Philippines by the rightful burial of Pres. Marcos in the LNMB with concurrence by the Supreme Court. Extract from Vatican document, “Ad Resurgendum cum Christo”, dated 15 August says:

    “The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.

    By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body, and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity.”

    • The Aquinos are not only traitors of our country, they are also criminals. It was the late Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr who ordered the bombing of the Liberal Party rally in Plaza Miranda on the night of August 21, 1971. The only reason why the culprit of the Plaza Miranda bombing was never found out because of the cowardice of Liberal Party senators. They refused to conduct an investigation to find out who threw the grenade at them. These cowardly Senators were the first one to denounce Marcos for placing the country under Martial Law but they never had the courage to seek justice for attempted murder of Senators of our land. What kind of example do they want to show our people? That in our country you can openly murder a Senator and get away with it?

  16. President Marcos inspired many young people like me when I was growing up. He inspired me with his brilliance and excellence. My father loved him. We used to listen to his long, inspiring extemporaneous speeches over the radio. May heaven protect his grave. He will forever be loved in our hearts.

  17. I think all the pros and cons regarding the burial off the late FEM, sinner or saint, hero or villain, have been said. Is this all that is supposed to be the only ‘burning’ issue facing the country and its people today?

    Where were the members of the oligarch and the politicians who portray to be the defenders of the civil rights and champion of the victims of Martial Law and oppressed? They were busy enriching themselves and corrupting the system. They slept on their rights and opportunities to check the goings-on in the government and the Philippine society. The declaration of Martial Law was partly the undoing of these inept members of the political system and society. I was there, before, during and after. Who knows Martial Law might have slowed the possible “demise” of the republic because of the rampant corruption, lawlessness and ineptitude of those who were supposed to check the executive branch of the government then. What a “useless” endeavor, “crying over the spilled milk”, by the ‘illustrious’ leaders of the FEM detractors. What’s next if the final decision of the “Supreme Court” is disregarded? Are we ready for the inevitable consequence/s? .

  18. How beautifully written, Mr. Yen! Both idea and arrangement of words.
    LP wants to make a Padre Damaso? And isn’t LP seemingly usurping the SC domain.
    So pathetic, the Yellows and the Reds!!! Why care if it was the Apo’s real remains or wax???

  19. this is a case of how intelligent people can be so immature pretending that they are doing it for the common good. They serve people’s ignorance (or pretended ignorance or laziness to know the truth) with half-truths to propel them towards self-serving political moves.

    in the aftermath of a war scenario, a commission is set up in order to broker peace. but there would be no lasting peace if opposing sides bring up the old issues and positions. Just imagine Nelson Mandela in South Africa. In order to broker peace he did not capitalize on so many black people who lost their lives and so many years of his torture and imprisonment. He thought of solutions, e.g., football diplomacy, etc.

    i am inclined to believe that if the yellows and reds insist on their political arteriosclerosis, it would end up in more people “canonizing” marcos because the TRUTH would come out in the open.

  20. The yellows had 30 years when Marcos was still alive until after he died to get justice and exact punishment. They had two presidents from their immediate family and a puppet president whom they placed in malacanang. They held sway in the palace for over 18 years and what do they have to show in terms of proving guilt where it exists and exacting punishment and reparations? By this time the guilt that they had proven, if any had already been punished. The rest is just political propaganda to keep them relevant and help them remain in power. The greed of these yellows is unbelievably insatiable. It is like Kris Aquino’s and Leila deLima’s (and maybe another yellow?) lust for power and craving for sex, preferably with married men.

  21. Maribel A. Calanda on

    You are correct in saying that Marcos is in the heart of Filipinos loyal to him. I am not an Ilocano but I consider Ferdinand Marcos as a hero. He is smart, visionary, caring, appreciative and generous. His intelligence is legendary. I was only in Grade 6 when Martial Law was declared and all the years of my student life until I finished my course, passed the board exams and landed a job, I only knew of one president whom I can be proud of. He is none other than Ferdinand Marcos. He placed the country in the map o f global tourism in the 70s with two global events, the Thrilla in Manila in 1975 and the Ms. Universe pageant in 1974. Despite the country under Martial Law, FM was able to stirl the economy consistently in an upward. trend. There are many good sides of Martial Law. For one, I was never a victim nor any member of my family because we are ordinary and law-abiding citizens. Those who were arrested and incarcerated are the members of the New People’s Army , student-activiists and political opponents and not the ordinary citizens of this country. No wonder the Communists are bitter. Ninoy aided the communists and was in cahoots with them all throughout his political life. He knew of the plot to bomb Plaza Miranda in 1971. He was nowhere there. How could this traitor Ninoy agree to the evil deeds of the Reds if he is not one of them? He thought he can get away and fool around the military intelligence. Human rights abuses committed by the military should be blamed totally to Ramos and Enrile for the two are the implementor and administrator of Martial Law. The traitor Ramos even pointed at the former First Lady to apologize to the victims because she knew everything according to the senile Ramos. He even castigated Imee Marcos because of Imee’s comment that she was still young when Martial Law was declared. It was just a hyperbole. The fact that Martial Law was declared in 1972 , the Marcos children are all minors then. If the two Ramos siblings, Fidel and Leticia are unforgiving to Marcos who is their kin, it is but right for the Ilocanos to despise the two aging public figures who never made our country proud unlike President Marcos who is a great tourist attraction by himself alone. . Ramos feels he is still in command that he can lecture any president before media at his own whims and caprice. The biased media would always ran to seek an interview with this senile person. Now this crazy former president is inciting rebellion by siding with the noisy Yellow Cult and the blood thirsty Reds. The gall with this man to join calls for the removal of Marcos remains at the LNMB. Shame on you Ramos, you did not respect the Supreme Court. Respect the body of the dead Ramos. That is the belief of Catholics. You are not one of us. You are a Protestant. Catholics even pray for the souls of their faithful departed that they all go to heaven. You are a pathetic old man. I can see a place for you in hell.

    • Good on you Maribel… well said. Specially your description of the corrupt Fidel Ramos who feels and thinks that he is still the president and has the followings of the Filipino people. His corruptions should be exposed so the people will know the real Fidel Ramos… What happened to the proceeds on the sale of Fort Bonifacio?

    • Lenia Hetherington on

      Well said. Fidel Ramos is nothing but full of envy and hatred against Pres. Marcos. And yes, Fidel Ramos and Enrile who were in charge of the Martial Law years, so yes, they should be blame also.

    • Ramos is creating just to show he is still relevant politically. The old fool had been wanting to be compared to the great Lee Kwan yew of Singapore. Ramos should be ashamed of himself

    • A good man or a good president doesn’t have to declare Marshall Law. Don’t forget that FEM was a murderer, he killed a man in Ilocos because of politics. Enrile and Ramos both product of the NORTH are the last of the Dinosaur.

  22. Reminds me of the Cadaver of Synod- the foolishness of the catholic church.
    Condemnation down to the grave is catholic mentality.

  23. Exhumation because of FM’s not being a “hero” is not a ground a court of law will order because to declare a person being a hero or not is not within the court’s competence. In fact, Rizal despite being considered a national hero, there are many who think that Bonifacio is the real national hero. If at all, citing in contempt might be appropriate but never exhumation.