Imee Marcos: Only 'soldier's burial,' not state funeral, for dad

Sherie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2016 06:30 PM | Updated as of Nov 08 2016 11:36 PM

MANILA - Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on Tuesday said her family is merely seeking a “soldier’s burial” for her father, former President Ferdinand Marcos, after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

"Hindi naman bongga-bonggang libing to eh. Libing lang naman ng sundalong pangkaraniwan. Hindi siya state funeral, kundi ‘soldier's burial’ lang,” Gov. Marcos said.

(This burial will not be grandiose. This is just a burial of an ordinary soldier. This is not state funeral but a soldier’s burial.)

“Iyun lang naman hinihingi namin. Iyun lang naman ang minimithi ng aking ama. Iyun ang huling habilin na kasama lang siya ng mga kawal ng Second World War.”

(That’s only what we are asking for. That was the wish of my father, to be buried beside fellow World War Two soldiers.)

Gov. Marcos said based on the initial plan, her father will be buried beside former presidents Carlos Garcia and Elpidio Quirino.

She thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials for backing her father’s burial at the heroes’ cemetery and defending it before the Supreme Court.

Her brother, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., said the family will resume its preparations for the late president’s burial.

Asked if the Marcos family plans to bury the late president’s remains within the year, Marcos told dzMM: “Ay sana naman. Basta tapos na yung desisyon sa Korte Suprema ay siguro maari nang ipagpatuloy na ang lahat ng paghahanda.”

(Hopefully. After the SC released its decision, I think we can finally resume our preparations for the burial.)

Before the SC halted moves to inter Marcos’ remains at the heroes’ cemetery, the Philippine Army said military honors would be given to the late dictator on his burial.

''Based on the directive, the Army is required to provide vigil, bugler/drummer, firing party, military host/pallbearers, escort and transportation, and arrival and departure honors,'' the Army said in a statement.

''The Philippine Army has designated a protocol officer to make lateral coordination with the family of the late former President Marcos on the details of the internment plan," it added.

In its majority decision, the SC, voting 9-5, said Duterte did not commit grave abuse of discretion in allowing Marcos’ burial at the cemetery.

It added, there is no law prohibiting the burial of Marcos' remains at the heroes' cemetery, and that Duterte has the power to reserve for public use and specific public purposes any of the lands under the public domain.

It also said that Marcos, under an Armed Forces of the Philippines regulation, is not disqualified from being buried at the cemetery; he possesses the qualifications to be buried at the cemetery, such as his role as commander-in-chief, a soldier, Medal of Valor awardee, legislator, and secretary of national defense.

The SC allowed the burial amid opposition from anti-Marcos groups, some composed of victims of atrocities during the Martial Law period.

Atty. Barry Gutierrez, lawyer of one of the groups of anti-Marcos burial petitioners, told ANC that the SC may be asked to extend the halt order on the burial while the ruling is being appealed.