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A cemetery doesn’t a hero make

Filed under: Editorial |


The obsession of the Marcos family to insist on burying former president Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani escapes many of us. He could have been buried right away, as is normally done, when his remains were brought to the country in 1993 instead of just keeping them in a refrigerated mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

The justification that he was a soldier is not plausible because there are thousands of Filipino soldiers, bemedalled or otherwise, who are not buried at the LNMB. Being president of the country does not hold, too. Of the 16 Philippine presidents, 11 are deceased and only two of them are buried at the LNMB, namely, Presidents Carlos Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal. All the others are in different cemeteries around Metro Manila. President Jose Laurel is buried in his hometown—Tanauan, Batangas.

The Marcoses should have done a Laurel.

Making one’s death or burial as turbulent as one’s life is not in the purview of the Marcoses. The fixation for LNMB is something else. The waiting for the right time to be buried at the LNMB, which is now 27 years from his death in 1989, tells of something that can only fall short of a huge political agenda. Otherwise, how else explain all this brouhaha—despite one of the daughters saying on national TV that all the family wishes is a simple burial. There is no simplicity in a burial that takes a Supreme Court to decide. Or one that has provoked indignation rallies and reopened the horrible wounds of the darkest years of Martial Law.

In the words of the CBCP president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, “Burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani will not bring peace and unity to the country. Peace can only come if there is justice. Justice demands recognition of the harm done to the people and restitution to the victims… The burial is an insult to the EDSA spirit. It mocks our fight to restore democracy.”

Of course, it will bring something. But only the Marcoses know what.

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