Still no to Libingan burial for Marcos–Coloma
So said Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. Thursday as he denied talk that President Aquino had changed his mind about disallowing the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
“The report is not true,” Coloma told the Inquirer.
The Malacañang “strategy” was supposedly intended to win votes for administration candidates in the May elections, particularly in Ilocos and other northern Luzon areas—the strongholds of the Marcoses—as well as in Leyte province, where former first lady Imelda Marcos comes from.
In a text message, Coloma said the President’s “position is anchored upon the principle that justice must first be rendered to the victims of torture, forced disappearances and killings perpetuated during the Martial Law regime.”
Asked about vice presidential aspirant Sen. Gregorio Honasan’s assertion that it was time for the administration to let Marcos be buried at the state cemetery, he said: “Those clamoring that we move on may wish to come to terms with the more than 76,000 individuals and families who filed petitions with the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board” for the deaths or injuries they or their relatives suffered during Martial Law.
Burial never discussed
Another Palace official, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak to the media, claimed Mr. Aquino and his Cabinet members never talked about allowing Marcos’ burial at the state cemetery in Fort Bonifacio.
That means there’s no change in the President’s position,” the second official said.
The same source recalled that while campaigning for the presidency in 2010, Mr. Aquino promised never to allow Marcos to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery.
Mr. Aquino’s father, the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., was jailed by Marcos for nearly eight years before allowing him to go to the United States for a heart operation. He was assassinated in 1983 upon his return to Manila.
Marcos died in Hawaii in 1989 three years after being toppled in a People Power Revolution.
The late President Corazon Aquino, swept to power in the revolt, refused to allow the return of Marcos’ body but President Fidel V. Ramos let the body be brought home in 1993, without allowing its burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Marcos’ family has kept his preserved body in a crypt in Ilocos Norte, waiting for a friendlier administration to fulfill the late dictator’s wish.
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