By: Elena Grace Flores
It is not a secret that Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and President Rodrigo Duterte were talking about the burial of his father with full military honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani so it was not a surprise when Bongbong disclosed that all is set for the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City on Sept. 18 but Ernesto Abella and Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar jointly said they have not heard of any Cabinet discussion on the matter – and therefor they were not informed. Marcos on the other hand would never announce such sensitive issue if he indeed has not clarified this with the President.
Marcos said that he and older sister, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, have been coordinating with concerned officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that are managing the heroes’ cemetery.
Imee is taking care of the rites in Ilocos because Ilocanos would get angry at us if they would not be able to pay their last respects to him. We’ll bring him first to Sarrat, then to Paoay, before taking him by plane for the burial here at Libingan,” he said.
Meanwhile, he has been coordinating with the AFP protocol and learned that aside from military honors – a 21-gun salute – and horse-ridden funeral cortege, they must conform with the tradition of burying the remains at exactly noon.
Marcos clarified that they wanted Sept. 18 instead of his father’s Sept 11 birth date because they wanted another day to celebrate on top of birth and death anniversaries.
A Marcos burial at Libingan has been opposed by human rights victims during the martial law regime and other critics but President Duterte has been undermining sentiments against the issue because the other half of the Filipinos have the same stand as him on this matter. Marcos is also thankful to the media for the fair coverage given.
As per Duterte’s own words: “The issue on the burial of President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani has long created divisions among our people,” Duterte said after the June 11 meeting with the young Marcos.
“I will allow the burial of President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani not because he is a hero. He was a Filipino soldier, period. That can be arranged immediately,” Duterte said.
The burial updates are conferred with the president as they go along – but palace officials seem to not know about it or just wanted to stay neutral.