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Hero or not, Marcos may be buried at 'Libingan', Duterte insists.

Who are we to say that former President Ferdinand Marcos is not a hero?

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday defended his directive to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, saying 'there is the law that favors the burial.'

'Ngayon, sabi hindi siya hero (Now they are saying he's not a hero). Who are we to say that? Wala naman tayo nu'ng panahon na giyera eh (We were not around during the time of war). Who are we to dispute?' Duterte, 71, said in an early morning news briefing in Davao City.

The President reiterated that the law allows Marcos to be buried at the hero's cemetery as a soldier and former President.

'Basta ako (As far as I am concerned), I follow the law. The law says that Marcos is qualified to be buried there, as a soldier,' he said.

'I'm limited to what is the law,' he said, adding that he would violate the law if he refused to bury the former President at the heroes' cemetery.

Insisting that Marcos should not be accorded a hero's burial, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines earlier denied the claim of the late President that he received three military medals and was recognized as the leader of his supposed guerilla unit.

Duterte said the issue of whether Marcos is a hero or not was merely political.

'They are contesting kung hero ba si Marcos, wala akong pakialam. Whether hero siya o hindi, pag ka sundalo siya, diyan siya. 'Yung hero-hero, politika na 'yan eh,' he said.

(They are contesting if Marcos is a hero. I do not care. Whether he is a hero or not, if he is a soldier, he should be buried there. The issue about his heroism is political.)

The President said the issue of Marcos hero's burial has made us 'a nation that refuses to heal a wound.'

'I am serious. This issue has divided the nation,' he said.

'Bakit pa ako mag-dilly-dally, ibang president ayaw? Hero, hero. Hindi hero, 'di hindi. Sundalo, oo. Almost half of the country says that he was a good president. Lalo na mga Ilocano. O 'di nasasaktan sila nitong ginagawa ngayon. So hindi nahe-heal 'yung (wounds),' he added.

(Why would I dilly-dally just because others do not want it? If he's a hero, he's a hero; if he's not a hero, then not. But he's a soldier. Almost half of the country says that he was a good President, especially the Ilocanos. They are hurting because of what's happening now. So the wounds are not healing.)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a 20-day status quo ante order temporarily halting the preparations for Marcos' hero's burial.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 25, 2016
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