The family of late former President Ferdinand Marcos is perpetuating injustice by subjecting access to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMNB)–a public property–to their whims, a lawmaker said on Tuesday.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, whose brother Hermon was abducted during Marcos’ martial law regime and was never found again, was referring to the existing policy wherein the families of those buried at the LMNB or Heroes’ Cemetery were barred by the military guards from entering it.
Marcos loyalists, on the other hand, were allowed to go inside since the former leader was buried there in a rush on Friday noon last November 18. It was later revealed that the military guards have to seek clearance from the Marcoses on who should enter the Hero’s Cemetery.
“Is the Libingan now under the management of the Marcos family? The fact that you need to seek permission from the Marcos family before you can go inside the Libingan ng mga Bayani premises shows to us that they are continuing injustice,” Lagman said in a news conference.
Marcos is survived by his wife and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, daughters Imee and Irene and son Ferdinand Jr.
“Why are they barring the non-supporters [of Marcos]from entering the Libingan ng mga Bayani? The late dictator is a prisoner in an undeserved grave,” Lagman said.
Deputy Speaker and Rep. Frednil Castro of Capiz, a member of the National Unity Party, shared Lagman’s sentiments.
“I don’t think this is right. Restriction is not necessary because the LNMB is a public place. What should be done is to protect the place from being desecrated,” Castro said in a chance interview.
Sectors that are against the Marcos burial have argued that the ex-leader does not deserve to be buried there because his martial law regime left at least 75,000 victims of torture and extrajudicial killings.
“There should be no restrictions. If the kin of those who are buried there want to visit their dead, they should be free to do so. When they decided to bury President Marcos there, they allowed [burying him]in a public property. The military does not need to ask permission from the Marcos family,” Castro said.
The LNMB, which is under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, was established in May 1947 as a final resting place for soldiers who perished in World War 2 and was later extended to accommodate departed Philippine Presidents, national heroes, patriots, National Artists and National Scientists.