No to Marcos burial, no offense to Bongbong–Grace
SAN CARLOS CITY, Philippines—Sen. Grace Poe on Friday said a commission should be formed to determine whether important figures, like the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
No president should be able to decide who would be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, said Poe, who was visiting the hometown of her late father, actor Fernando Poe Jr., on the eve of her 48th birthday.
The commission should decide who deserves to be buried at the Libingan, “so no politics should come into play,” she said.
“They said [Marcos] was a soldier so he can be buried at the Libingan, so there is something vague there. So a commission should really be formed for that purpose,” she said.
Poe said she would oppose a Libingan burial for the late strongman even if it may hurt the feelings of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“I am thankful that the issue is already at the Supreme Court. Even during the last [election] campaign period, I already said there would be chaos [if the Marcos family would insist on a hero’s burial] because we have a law recognizing the atrocities of martial law,” she said.
She did not elaborate but she may have been referring to Republic Act No. 10368, which grants reparations for victims of martial law. The same law acknowledges human rights violations committed during the more than 20 years of Marcos rule.
Poe also referred to Bongbong as “kabsat” (brother). She and the former senator had made light of speculation that she was the late dictator’s daughter by referring to each other as “kabsat.”
When reporters first asked about the burial, Poe said: “Come on, you guys. That issue has already offended my brother. He calls me sister.”
Addressing former Senator Marcos, she said, “Whatever you believe in, if it is lawful, then stand by that decision. I praised [Gov. Imee Marcos] for her initiatives in Ilocos Norte. But there are things that as a senator, you should decide based on the law.”
Poe also said she saw no obstacles to the passage of the Senate version of a proposed Freedom of Information law, which requires, among other things, heads of agencies to automatically upload their statements of assets, liabilities and networth (SALN) on the government website.
“For instance, a senator earns P60,000 monthly yet has many listed properties…perhaps you can say [that senator] is a drug lord,” she said.
During the visit, Poe launched a feeding program for school children, a project which she said she would pursue nationwide. The visit was her first since the May 9 elections, “after resting and spending time with the family,” she said.
“After the elections, I was a little emotional. Now I am stronger and I can face the people without drama,” she said.
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