Marcos Burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani: Why or Why Not Allow

It seems that former president Ferdinand E. Marcos will be finally laid to eternal rest with the decision of the Duterte administration to allow the preserved body of the late president be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. It is a controversial decision and tongues are wagging on why it should be allowed or why not.  Personally, I would like to share my thoughts on the this.

Marcos Burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani
Image from FashionPulis

Why Allow

I would like to agree on the idea of President Duterte to let this thing happen so that we can move on.  For the sake of the whole nation, it is time that the Aquino – Marcos riff be buried too once the body of the late dictator is finally at the bottom of Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Image from viralportalnews.blogspot.com

Those who screamed like Susan Roces “it’s unfair, it’s unfair,” perhaps you are just talking about yourself and you do not have concrete evidence on the reasons why Marcos should be deprived of hero’s burial.  Honestly speaking, there are still millions of Filipinos who benefited from his dictatorial administration and for them he was a hero. 

Image from panoramio.com

The failure of his successors to become the exact opposite of what Marcos is all about is one good reason why Marcos should be accorded this privilege.  With corruption still rampant, poverty a way of life, and social ills become a permanent fixture in every Filipino’s lives, perhaps one can say that from Aquino to Aquino, these presidents are heroes as well for preserving the corrupt practices of the Marcos regime.

His tomb will be a living reminder for everyone that heroes are no longer the same as it was before.  Just like what an old crooner sang decades ago, “they don’t make them like they used to.” The concept of hero is no longer about fighting wars, principles, and ideology.  It is now about who created the biggest ripple and Marcos just made a tsunami out of it in their favor.

Image from randomsalt.files.wordpress.com

The name Libingan ng Mga Bayani is a misnomer when you think of those who are qualified to be buried.  It is not only people who are recognized as heroes and martyrs but also war veterans. According to the Arm Forces of the Philippines, the following dead persons can be buried too: (source; Manila Bulletin Online; http://www.mb.com.ph/afp-rules-for-libingan-ng-mga-bayani/)

Medal of Valor Awardees;
b.) Presidents or Commander-in-Chief, AFP;
c.) Secretaries of National Defense;
d.) AFP Chiefs of Staff;
e.) Generals/Flag Officers of the AFP;
f.) active and retired military personnel of the AFP, to include active draftees and trainees who died in line of duty, and active reservists and CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) who died in combat operations or combat-related activities;
g.) former members of the AFP who laterally entered or joined the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP);
h.) Veterans of Philippine Revolution of 1890, World War I, World War II, and recognized guerillas;
i.) government dignitaries, statesmen, national artist and other deceased persons whose interment and re-interment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense, and
j.) former Presidents, Secretaries of Defense, dignitaries, statesmen, national artists, widows of former Presidents, Secretaries of National Defense and Chief of Staff.
Image from luisteodoro.com

Based on the above qualifications, the former strongman in Asia deserves to be buried there and the cemetery’s name should be subjected to change to be congruent with the qualified dead applicants.
Because President Duterte said so and according to Atty. Bruce Rivera, the president has the prerogative if wanted a Libingan ng mga Bayani burial for a former president. As the Commander in Chief of the land, the incumbent president has the right to confer such honor to anyone whom he thought is deserving. 
Why Not Allow
The biggest reason why Marcos should not be buried in that cemetery and be accorded with hero’s burial is that it will make a mockery of what EDSA 1 was all about.  It would send wrong signals to those who suffered and lost their loved ones during the Marcos dictatorial regime.  It will simply mean embracing the fact the Marcos was the best president this nation has so far. 
For some, it may mean figuratively mean evil winning against the good.  It is like telling the younger generation - do your nation a bad thing and you will be rewarded with a hero’s burial.  To negate hero’s burial for Marcos is an emphasis to young people who do not have any idea at all about what happened during Marcos' era.  Their ideas are based on PR stunt of social media networks about Martial Law and Marcos being the best president ever. 
Thousands of anti-Marcos will cite his fake medals and war heroism as the reason why he should not be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani.  In a tweet by Ces Orina Drilon, he is not a hero but a fiction writer.  Indeed, we must not forget that Marcos did try to rewrite history by promoting the “Malakas at Maganda” concept, by institutionalizing the “Tadhana” idea of Marcos and history, and other fake historical shenanigans like the TASADAY. 

Image from newsinfo.inquirer.net

The Solution

In order for the Marcoses to convince people that the former president was indeed a hero is to do the what heroes usually do; sacrifice.  By sacrificing the need for a “Libingan ng mga Bayani" burial, perhaps people will forget the issue about him being a fake hero but rather cherish the magnanimous act of the entire Marcos family of their willingness to forgo hero’s burial.  Who knows by doing so, it will make BBM (Bong Bong Marcos) the next president of the Philippines and in his time he can do the honors of burying his father formally with a hero’s honor.
Image from FilipiKnow

Another solution is that since the Marcoses are so rich, they can buy a huge parcel of land and make their own Libingan ng mga Bayani. They can even allow the “kuratongs,” the Napoleses, the MILF’s, the NPA’s, and those who committed a huge disservice to the nation to be buried there.  If they can buy social media time to promote the idea of Marcos being a hero, why not go all the way and make one white elephant for the former dictator? 

The third suggested solution is let the body remain where it is right now and hold a “Hero Festival" for him so that those who believed that he was indeed a hero can go through a pilgrimage every year and pledge their loyalty to the former president.  Let time and people decide if he indeed was a hero by just looking at the magnitude of people undergoing a pilgrimage to the festival every year. 

Image from Manila Bulletin Online

Fourth suggestion is to rename the cemetery which is appropriate when you consider the kind of dead people are buried there.  You can tell that based on the list of qualifications, many of those who were buried there are not actually real heroes but just earned the right to be buried because they are former presidents, widows of former presidents, and so and so forth.  The qualifications alone mocked what a hero should be.  
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4 comments :

  1. A nice try to find a solution but:
    Marcos and his father were collaborators with the enemy. But he claimed money from the Americans for being a hero). And all the bad things he did to become rich with the martial law trick. You don't want such a person to be honoured in any way. It will just encourage more corruption.

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  2. It is a difficult situation and one can only hope for the best solution without dividing the nation.

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  3. "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
    (Isaiah 43:18)

    Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
    (Ephesians 4:31-32)

    For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins
    (Matthew 6:14-15)

    ReplyDelete