Aquino: Marcos’ Libingan burial a desecration
Former President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday described a burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos among heroes as a “desecration” of Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“The pro[burial] seems to be one group. The antiburial seems to be so many groups, and in a sense representing the whole political spectrum … I still cling to the hope that there are a lot, if not a very significant majority, who are against this burial and the desecration of Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Aquino said.
He briefly joined the crowd that gathered at the Lapu-Lapu Monument in Manila’s Rizal Park on Sunday night for the “Pray for 8” event—a prayer-cum-concert organized in the hopes that at least eight justices on the Supreme Court would vote granting the petitions to stop the Duterte administration from burying the late dictator at Libingan.
The burial of Marcos at Libingan in Taguig City was widely perceived as a concession by President Duterte to the dictator’s family, led by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., a close friend and ally.
The Supreme Court is expected to vote today (Tuesday) on the petitions opposing the burial of Marcos there on the grounds that it would violate the laws that recognized Marcos as a despotic leader under whose regime thousands of Filipinos suffered and were stripped of their rights.
One law grants remuneration to the victims of human rights violations during the Maros regime.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, a daughter of the late dictator, said on Monday that news reports predicting the votes of Supreme Court justices on the motion opposing the burial of Marcos at Libingan were “like lotto.”
Imee, who led a prayer vigil in front of the high court on Padre Faura Street in Manila, said it was best to wait for the decision, which was expected to be out today, instead of predicting numbers.
Aquino said just like any other citizen, he was “awaiting the decision” of the Supreme Court. He declined to comment on rumors about how the justices would vote.
At present, Marcos’ preserved body is encased in a glass coffin and kept on public display at the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte province.
The Marcos family has prepared a bronze coffin for his burial.
Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, three years after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution ended his two-decade rule.
His widow, Imelda, and his children were subsequently allowed to return home, where they have since regained political clout.
In 1993, then President Fidel Ramos allowed Marcos’ body to be brought home, on the condition that he would be buried in Ilocos Norte.
Share stories, dark period
Asked if the movement opposing a Marcos burial at Libingan would continue should the Supreme Court decide in favor of the Duterte administration, the former President said it was a question for the citizens who this time, “have decided to make their voices heard.”
Aquino, the only son of democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino, reiterated that it was time for other martial law families to share their stories, one of the reasons he has mostly been silent on the Marcos burial issue.
The former President recalled that one of the “darkest periods” of martial law was the mock military trial of his father who faced trumped-up charges in the 1970s, expressing hope that such a kangaroo court would not happen in the country again.
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