Senate vote on the FM burial shows a tortured nation

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Marlen V. Ronquillo

Marlen V. Ronquillo

A party-list representative from Bicol came out with an emotional call that sounded as the most logical approach to end the vexing Marcos burial question. He appealed to the Marcos family to “just bury him elsewhere” to once and for all rein in the national division.

It is an appeal to the Marcos family, their sense of nationhood and their sense of patriotism, to let go of their desire for a hero’s burial for their father for a greater purpose – put an end to a divisive issue. Mr. Batocabe, the party-list rep from Bicol used to spew nonsense and non-sequitur in Congress. But on this one, he is right. You are patriots, he told the family. The country’s healing is a purpose higher than family glory. I appeal to you to just go for the higher purpose. We all know where he is coming from.

An appeal to the family to bury him in a honorable resting place not called the Libingan ng mga Bayani is definitely better than the call of Mr. Lagman to bury him at the mothballed nuclear plant.

On the burial issue, there is only one given. A division so deep that would scar the nation’s psyche forever if Mr. Marcos is buried at the LIbingan ng mga Bayani. [Editor’s note: The late president was buried – with full military honors — at the Libingan unannounced at noon on Friday, hours before Columnist Ronquillo wrote this column.] Mr. Marcos’s physical remains will be at his cherished resting place, true, but for him and his family that would be the equivalent of a Pyrrhic victory. Or worse, a hollow one. Do you really think that the burial will shut down or temper the anti-Marcos stirrings in this polarized country? If you say yes, you are dreaming,


You can’t adjudicate history
The Supreme Court vote that ruled for a Marcos burial has had no calming effect on the nation. The Higher Court may have had the best of intention, to come out with a definitive ruling that would settle the contentious issue via clinical arguments on Mr. Marcos’ service as a soldier. The SC, however, missed the brave journalism work of the late Joe Burgos and the We Forum /Malaya staff, which established proof of Mr. Marcos’s fictional medals and heroism.

The late Joe Burgos gained early recognition for his reportage on the two torched villages of Ilocos Sur, his home province, and the Wild Wild West politics there. But a mature Joe Burgos was the singular driving force behind the “mosquito press” that reported on the martial law regime from the context of real courage. With no FOI and a massive research staff, Joe Burgos uncovered and exposed the dark side of the regime and Mr. Marcos bit by bit. He reported big time on the fake medals of Mr. Marcos, which angered the regime, as the medals were the foundation of Mr. Marcos’s claim to greatness.

The irony was Joe was an Ilocano like Mr. Marcos and for a clannish people, Joe’s reporting was the height of betrayal. Yes, Joe would answer. I can’t change my place of origin. But I can’t change the facts either.

Instead of calming the nation, the High Court threw gasoline on a huge bonfire, inflaming in the process the already heated debates on the burial issue.

If the medals were fake and the heroism inflated, the story of service to the country and courage under fire is practically demolished and Mr. Marcos’s war record descends into the level of fiction. The main ground invoked by the pro-Libingan justices cannot be valid even on its clinical merits.

The 8-6-6 senate vote
The senate vote on a resolution that proposed a sense of Senate resolution against the burial at the Libingan was not as one-sided as the High Court vote. Eight voted for the resolution, with six votes against and six abstentions. The Senate vote was the nation in miniature. The views were divided into three camps. Eight against the burial, six for the burial and another six looking for a compromise.

The Senate vote is basically how the nation feels about the issue. One camp is passionately against the burial. One camp just don’t care about history and wants a quick burial at the Libingan. And six senators with conflicted feelings about the burial. You can see why Mr. Escudero abstained. His late dad was Marcos to the core but the young Escudero belongs to a generation that views Mr. Marcos as a less-than-mythical figure.

The nation’s sentiment is exactly along those three camps. One passionately against. One in favor of rendering a quick settlement, to be over and done with, the issue. And another camp that is either agnostic about the Marcoses or fed up with passions that the burial question has stirred. The emotional drain dealt by the issue on a nation that is in a state of flux and transition, especially on its foreign policies, is for real.

Is there a resolution in sight?
The graceful way out will have to come from the Marcos family. With grace and utmost patriotism, they can come out with a collective decision to bury Mr. Marcos elsewhere. They will be praised for that. And that singular gesture may even propel the young Marcos into the presidency.

Absent that, we have to spend time and money to take the issue to a vote as the young Angara had suggested. Hold a referendum. That would be, I hate using this phrase, the final solution.

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18 Comments

  1. The reality is the masses perceived President Marcos’ patriotic service to the Filipino people far outweighs the unfortunate events during Martial Law years. The physical evidences of his genuine service are still here nowadays, can’t be forgotten even they change the names or erase it from school books. Authenticity of medal is insignificant in the issue, but no one can deny that he was a soldier and a president. A great President. Their Senate vote do not reflect the will of the people because the masses believed up to three or four of them are product of Smartmatic and election cheating. How we wished that Leftist who even called themselves Progressive Groups vanished so this nation can forward to progress.

  2. Bonifacio Claudio on

    “Friends, Romans, countrymen, give me your attention. I have come here to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do is remembered after their deaths, but the good is often buried with them. It might as well be the same with Caesar. The noble Brutus told you that Caesar was ambitious… — for Brutus is an honorable man; they are all honorable men —… When the poor cried, Caesar cried too. Ambition shouldn’t be so soft. Yet Brutus says he was ambitious, and Brutus is an honorable man… And, no question, Brutus is an honorable man. I am not here to disprove what Brutus has said, but to say what I know. You all loved him once, and not without reason. Then what reason holds you back from mourning him now? Men have become brutish beasts and lost their reason! Bear with me. My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause until it returns to me.” From Julius Caesar by W. Shakespeare

  3. Mr. Ronquillo, katwiran ing pagbasihan mo ali emotion da reng taong laban kareng taong maghangad maghari at sumupil queng matulid a katwiran. Palage mu wari mas dakal kayo quesa kareng pabor queng libing ng Marcos quing LNMB? Papaboran mo reng anti Marcos dahil sa kanilang mga karanasang sila mismo ang pumili kaya sila nagdusa. Makananu naman ing damdamin da reng pabor. Alang kwenta queka ita?

  4. Maribel Calanda on

    Look what happened to the son of Joe Burgos, he disappeared and that was no longer the making of the Marcoses or Marcos. Why would you consider Burgos’ expose as gospel truth? You are all distorting history. Why would you allow the Yellows to run this country? Most are vindictive and incompetent. How about the millions of Filipinos who are not victims of Martial Law? We are the majority who experienced the good side of Martial Law and the good governance of President Marcos. We are not all Ilocanos. Marcos should be buried at rhe Libingan ng mga Bayani. He deserved to be there. The victims want money and the money is with the government and held in escrow for long by the yellow cult. Why not run after Ramos who headed the PC, the AFP unit responsble for the arrest and torture of thousands? He is travelling around the world feeling like a statesman. He is a farce. Why not run after Enrile who is the Martial Law administrator? The two have the wealth to repatriate the victims. Why only Marcos and his family’s wealth? Besides Angara is just echoing the idea of the late and great Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago who said in one of the presidential debates that it is better to call a referendum for this burial issue but the Comelec now is run by unworthy yellowtards. They can juat manipulate again the results of the elections juat what they did in the VP race and the Senatorial race last May. The law is harsh but that is the law. Christmas season is fast approaching and the Filipino workers and employees will receive again their 13th month pay, a law signed in 1975 by the generous and intelligent President Marcos. For the majority of us who were not victims of Martial Law , we consider him a hero. Once the victims got their money, the issue will die down. God is the only one who can truly judge us and that is applicable to President Marcos too.

  5. The burial of fm at lnmb is an issue beyond both political n moral. The thing is that why do the marcoses just compensate the victims of martisl law financially. After all, the wealth in their posession are not theirs but belongs to the nation. Lets move on n accept the burial of marcos but what about the million dollars and golds that marcos stole from the people, the ysmashita treasure and the golden buddha of miner roxas. After all imeldific is still alive n also partly responsible in running the affairs of the gov’t. During martial law.

  6. The Senate vote was not a reflection of the sentiments of the Filipinos. Remember, there are impostors in the senate who are there only because of the connivance of Comelec and Smartmatic.

    • We (Filipinos) have elected these senators and they are not impostors. That’s fact of life.
      Let the rule of law govern in our country. If majority of the senators are against the burial so be it. Marcos family should understand the feeling of the majority if not all the Filipinos. A number of Filipinos were affected during the martial law and there was massive corruption in government. We just can’t close our ears and eyes on these atrocities. By ignoring this issue you can only expect the worst is yet to come.

  7. Those in the congress and the senate who are against the Marcos burial are extremely low in IQ.
    And, they do so because they simply are grandstanding to get media attention. They react co-along the Main Stream Media(MSM) owned by oligarchs of the Philippines.

    On top of them grandstanding is VP Robredo who wish to become popular and a stooge of the oligarch. What is her qualication to bad-mouth the legacy of Pres. Marcos.

    There is still a pending electoral complaint against Robredo.

    Robredo’s words in the media only proves that she does subscribe to the truth.

    The fact that the unverified gap between her and Bongbong in the last elections is mere 200,000,
    Means that Filipinos love and admire Marcos.

    The MSM ignores the pulse of the Filipino people and continue to manipulate even the millenials for the sake of the wanton greediness of the oligarchs.

  8. Hindi medalya ang pinaguusapan kundi ang batas na umiiral sa Libingan Ng Mga Bayani. Walang binabanggit na medalya ang batas. Ang lahat ng sundalo, pulis, coast guard, WW2 gerilya, presidente, defense secretary ay maaaring ilibing sa LNMB. Ang ipinagpipilitan ng mga dilaw ay ipagkait sa isang sundalo ang karangalan na nararapat sa kanya. Ako ay isang pangkaraniwang sundalo na hindi tagasuporta ng mga Marcos pero hinding hindi ko ipagkakait sa kapwa ko sundalo ang mahimlay sa LNMB. Ipagtatanggol ko ang karapatan ng isang sundalo na mailibing sa LNMB kung kailangang magkamatayan.

  9. Marcos belongs to history, he’s governance and the time of the coldwar are studied in classrooms wordwide. he belongs to the world not just for Filipinos.

  10. I’m bothered what you’ve written a portion in this column about the ‘torched village’ in Ora, Bantay, Ilocos Sur based on the story of Jose Burgos. I beg to disagree about this untrue incident because I knew what really happened during those days. Mr. Burgos did’n know the exact story because he spent his entire life in Manila though he was born in Vigan. He hated Marcos because the later was a true Ilocano by heart and deeds.

  11. No law of physics can prevent moral corruption from decaying into bankruptcy; only courage can bring us back from moral bankruptcy.
    We do not as of this time have a critical number of courageous Filipinos to reverse our moral bankruptcy

  12. Lea Hetherington on

    Sana ay sa lahat nang hindi marunong magpatawad (sa mga hindi siguradong kasalanan ni Pres. Marcos) ay babaliktad sa kanila ang mga hatred na ibinibigay nila sa pamilya.

  13. Why don’t this Lawmakers just shut up and just do their job. They are elected as Lawmakers, then for God Sake, make laws. That is what you are getting paid off. Use your time to attend session and try to make laws that is most profitable to the Filipino Nation. Don/t just sit there and opened your mouth for nothing. Do your job. Or resign. and let somebody do it for you.

  14. No matter what, the yellowtards want to impose their will thinking they are the only children of god. They are the ones who went to the supreme court, the supreme court has spoken, but they don’t respect the supreme court. They’re arrogant. At best, kaya sila naisahan, noynoying Kasi sila, as in BS Aquino. Wala na ba silang ibang gagawin para Sa sambayanan?

    • Maribel Calanda on

      I agree with what you said Mark Torres. Ginagamit ng mag yellowtards ang mga kawawang biktima kuno ng Martial Law kuno. The nation was held hostaged by this Aquino cult whose only agenda is for Filipinos to hate Marcos.They were never for the country. They were only for themselves. Marcos was a soldier ready to die for his country and people and because of the greatness of his heart, God made him president for 20 years. He has sinned and who would have not sinned in this world but let God be the judge. God gave PDigong to lead us. The SC has spoken. The arrogance of the yellow cult is the one causing the divisiveness. The congenital liar Ninoy is the root of all these lies and evils. In his stint as a Senator, he has not crafted a bill that would benefit the Filipino people. All he did was to be a heckler of President Marcos and the First Lady, Imelda Marcos. Btw, it was President Marcos who said in one of his writings in his diary that Ninoy Aquino is a congenital liar. At least all Filipino workers and employees are beneficiaries to this day by the llaw signed by FM on 13th month pay. It was in 1975 when he signed the law. E ano ba napala natin sa yellowtards na mga ito? They are noisy and rude and they benefiitted too from the good side of Ferdinand Marcos.

    • George F Guillermo on

      Totally agree po na sobrang arrogante and judgmental mga Yellowtards at mga leftists. They are sowing a culture of hate kasi di nila matanggap na hanggang sa level ng kamatayan ay tinalo sila ni Marcos..na matupad ang kanyang (FM) “death wish” na mailibing siya sa LNMB bilang pagkilala sa kanya bilang isang sundalo, Presidente, Senador, at iba pang katungkulan.

      Nagsimula ang plano ng mga Yellowtards at mga leftist na pabagsakin si Marcos ng binomba nila ang Plaza Miranda upang magalit ang taong bayan kay Marcos. Maraming propaganda against Marcos ang ginawa nila. Sa mga articles na isinulat nina Mauro Samonte at Ambassador Tiglao (both holding Top positions in the CPP-NPA in 1970’s), kung hindi nagdeklara si Marcos ng Martial Law, siguradong naging Communist Country ang Pilipinas kasi maraming mga kabataan at Student leaders, mga professionals, Union leaders/workers na magagaling at matatalino (katulad nina Mr. Samonte at Amb Tiglao) na mga Kadre, membro at sympathizers ng CPP-NPA. Accordingly, by that time, malawakan na ang organization at impluwensya ng CPP-NPA sa bansa. Accordingly, isa si Ninoy Aquino sa mga leaders at nagplano ng pagbomba sa Plaza Miranda.

      Naging Diktador si Marcos kasi yon ang sinasabi ng Batas-Phil Constitution. Matial law is legal and authorized by the Constitution, thus all actions of Marcos were legal. Tungkulin nya na sugpuin ang posibleng Communists take-over. In the process of defending the country from Communists, arrests, imprisonment/detention and death among those against the government were the common result. Also, almost zero criminality was attained and for the first time, it was the most peaceful period in the history of the country (I knew this as I was then in my early 20’s & am now 65 years old). Marcos succesfully implemented Martial Law but there were some abuses and these were committed by the Phil Constabulary (PC) headed by ex Pres Ramos as the Commanding General (CG). As CG, Ramos was in direct control of the PC, Yet, among the armed forces, the PC was the most abusive & worst “pinaka mabagsik” sa pag “torture” ng mga bilanggo o mga suspects. This was a public knowledge during the Martial Law.

      Fortunately or unfortunately, those who fight (sympathizers, Cadres and Communists) (but no IDs as such) against the government and overthrew it were able to present and established themeselves as victims of human rights and thus, be compensated. Can you imagined, they were actual enemies of the State, yet they appeared and able to portray themeselves as heroes, and yet Marcos who legally took the hard decision to impose Martial Law as mandated by the Phil Constitution end up as the “Villain”. Ito ang gusto na mangyari ng mga Yellow tards at mga Leftist sa loob ng 30 years (1986-2016) at sila ay nagtagumpay na siraan at palabasin na Evil si Marcos sa tulong ng mga Yellow tards media (Main stream media).

      But in the end, Marcos was vindicated for being allowed both by the President (Executive Branch) and the Supreme Court (Judicial Branch) to be buried at the LNMB. (Parang Cine/Movie, na sa simula pa binubogbog at grabeng paninira o panisisi ang tinanggap ng Bida- from 1986 to 2016 (na pinalalabas na kontrabida sa mata ng mga tao) pero sa ENDING ng Movie, doon lumabas ang tunay na katotohanan, siya ang tunay na Bida…- At ito ang di matanggap na katotohanan ng mga Yellow tards at mga leftist na naging Bida si Marcos. They are still sowing hatred, lie and vindictiveness against the Marcoses as they have been doing such unGODLY acts for the last 30 years together with the CBCP (mga Pari). Pero hindi ang mga Marcoses ang kawawa kundi sila sa ngayon at sa darating na huling araw ng kanilang mga buhay-next life. As the Bible says: “You reap what you sow”. If the Yellow tards and CBCP sow hatred, they will surely reap hatred in return.. GOD Bless our Country..