THE family of former strongman President Ferdinand Marcos remains hopeful that the government will follow existing rules concerning those who are to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) and finally bestow upon the ex-leader what it said is rightfully his.
According to Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the only son of the former president, their family has been consistent in their view that it is the right of the ex-leader to be given a proper burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, given that he had served in the military and was the longest-sitting President in the country’s history.
“This is the view that we have had from the very start. It is not something that we invented for ourselves, but it is actually written down in the rules, so we are just hoping that those rules are followed,” the senator said, referring to the rules applying to those who are to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The rules are provided under Republic Act 289 or “An act for the construction of a national pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots of the country.”
The senator said despite objections raised by the current and previous administrations, the Marcos family remains constant in its desire that Marcos be given what is rightfully his.
As for the issues being raised by those who are against a hero’s burial for Marcos, the senator said bringing back the past does not serve any purpose and it has already been part of the country’s history.
“We know what happened. His [Marcos] government fell. We were taken forcibly to the United States and forced to stay there for six years. So that’s done. We really need to start moving forward,” the younger Marcos added.
He noted that the issues, as well as the conflicts, that happened at the time have served their purpose and making them part of the political discussion now will not be of any help.
“We really should get past it because it is a resolved issue,” the senator pointed out.
Senators Francis Escudero and Joseph Victor Ejercito both expressed support for the call to have the former leader be accorded his rights to be buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery and put closure to the issue.
Escudero, in defending his position, said nobody could deny that Marcos has served the country as a soldier and as President, entitling him to proper burial rights.
He, however, added that he respects the position of President Benigno Aquino 3rd on the issue, although for him he believes that the time is right to heal wounds of the past.
“The issue has been ongoing for the past 30 years and I believe that it is time to resolve this in order for us and our country to move on,” Escudero said.
Ejercito agreed, saying it is time to also put closure to the issue considering that Marcos was a war veteran even before he became President.
Meanwhile, Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd said Marcos does not deserve a hero’s burial despite being a former president and a war veteran.
“You have to take a balance between the pluses and the minuses of a person. Hitler was also a former president, right?” Osmeña, also a victim of martial law, added.