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Palace: Duterte firm on Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

/ 02:02 PM August 14, 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

President Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

It seems there is nothing that can change the mind of President Rodrigo Duterte on the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ military honors and burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the President remains “firm” on his stance regarding the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan despite protests from various sectors and criticisms from his allies.

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READ: Hundreds denounce plan to bury Marcos at Libingan ng Bayani

Andanar said that Duterte will focus on “governance as usual” and in his drive against drugs and criminality.

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“The President’s stance, however, remains firm:  There is clarity in the regulations governing the late President Marcos’ burial.  The President shall therefore remain undistracted and it shall be governance as usual with his full and undivided attention in winning the war against drugs, criminality and corruption,” Andanar said in a statement on Sunday.

Duterte said recently that the “law” provides that Marcos can be buried at the Libingan as he was a former soldier.

“The law is there, existing. You read it a thousand times and you still arrive at a conclusion that he is qualified. Even if he is not a hero, he was a soldier,” the President said on the sidelines of his meeting with Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz in Davao City.

On Sunday, protesters gathered at the Luneta Park in Manila to oppose burying Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery.

Asked for his reaction on the protest, Andanar said that the Duterte administration allows any protest as it is grounded on the belief that “criticism, good or bad, true or not, is part of the territory of governance in public.”

In a memo dated August 9, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said that the deposed dictator will be honored as a former soldier and head of state at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Marcos will be buried in the cemetery’s “presidential section” where former Presidents Carlos P. Garcia, Elpidio Quirino and Diosdado Macapagal were buried.

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The late dictator’s plot will be placed next to Garcia’s. JE/rga

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TAGS: Burial, duterte, Ferdinand Marcos, hero's burial, Libingan, Libingan ng mga Bayani, Marcos, Martial law, Rodrigo Duterte
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