A number of lawmakers on Sunday rejected Vice President Jejomar Binay’s compromise formula to give full military honors to the late President Ferdinand Marcos but bury him in his home province, Ilocos Norte.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said that depriving Marcos of his right to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was unfair. He said the late dictator “deserved such an honor considering his achievements.”
Rodriguez said Marcos was not only the country’s longest-serving Chief Executive but he was also awarded the Medal of Valor in 1942 as part of the resistance against Japanese forces and he was a former defense minister.
“These achievements make him qualified to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and getting full military honors will not suffice. I think the President should allow his burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” said Rodriguez.
Aside from the legal basis for Marcos’ place among those buried at the Libingan ng mg Bayani, Rodriguez noted that public sentiment had turned in favor of granting the former dictator’s wish to be buried with honors based on a recent survey.
Rodriguez was among the 219 congressmen, or three-fourths of the House membership, that endorsed House Bill 1135 urging President Aquino to allow the burial of Marcos in the cemetery reserved for the country’s heroes.
Up to the President
The House resolution’s author, Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III was not happy about the compromise formula of Binay. “But we leave it to President Aquino to decide the matter. If the administration implements the Binay proposal to have Marcos buried in Ilocos Norte with full military honors, so be it. But his family can still push for his burial in five or ten years at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” said Escudero, an agriculture minister during Marcos’ 14 years of one-man rule.
Among those who signed in favor of the resolution were Marcos’ widow, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, and her nephew, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez; and former President turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her two sons, Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado Arroyo and Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo.
But neither were those opposed to the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani happy with the Binay recommendation.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casiño said Marcos was not even qualified to receive full military honors “since he brought dishonor to the Armed Forces and the nation at large.”
“I think it is better for him to be given a quiet and decent burial,” said Casino
Casiño was one of seven lawmakers who filed House Resolution 1297 stating that Marcos “does not deserve a hero’s burial…for gross crimes against humanity, plunging the nation deeper into debt and foreign control, and plundering the nation’s resources” during his 20-year.”