Marcos body safer in Batac, Ilocanos say
BATAC CITY—Ilocanos are not happy about an extension of the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order (TRO) that prevented a scheduled Sept. 18 burial of strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
The Marcos family in Ilocos Norte has not issued any statement, preferring to wait for the high court’s ruling on the petitions to bar a burial at Libingan.
But opposition to the Libingan burial has made some government employees in Ilocos Norte suggest that keeping Marcos’ body at a mausoleum in Batac City may be better to protect it from martial law activists.
“If [the burial at the Libingan] is finally allowed…Apo Marcos may not be safe there, and [his tomb] may only [be] vandalized,” said an employee, who asked not to be named in the story.
“It is customary among us Ilocanos to have a strong emotional attachment to our departed loved ones. As much as possible, they should be interred close to us. We want to watch over them even after their death,” said another employee.
Marcos supporters have mounted an online petition and a house-to-house campaign to gather a million signatures to push for the burial at Libingan.
But some Ilocanos here have not been as passionate about where to bury Marcos.
“He can be buried anywhere—and still be the same president that everyone loved and adored,” said Roque Benjamin Ablan, a councilor of Laoag City.
But he said he was “saddened and dismayed” about extending the TRO to Oct. 18. “I hope that the Supreme Court will soon lift the TRO and allow the burial of Marcos,” he said.
A Laoag City resident, Nelda Aguete-Quinay, said the extended TRO allowed her to hear all sides of the issue. “It’s a good thing for us to understand all issues and ensure that preparations on Marcos burial are the best thing to do,” she said.
“Our appeal is for the wounds of the past to heal so the whole country would be united,” said Roberto de la Cerna, lead convener of the Movement for Filipino Ideology and president of the Kabataan Sandigan at Gabay ng Pilipinas Inc. (Kasagpi).
But Florante Nicolas, a resident of San Nicolas town, said, “[Marcos] has created too much divisiveness among us. If burying him at the Libingan is just to honor him as president and a soldier, the same act (of honoring him) may be done elsewhere.”
“The issue has been [damaging] the image of the Filipino people in the international community,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.