But claims father deserves burial at heroes' cemetery
MANILA - The burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) does not make him a hero, his daughter asserted Thursday.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said the Supreme Court's decision, allowing the interment does not say that he is now to be recognized as a hero.
"It’s not a crusade. It doesn’t make him a hero. At the end of the day, we have to judge that by other means. It’s just complying with what your dad wanted," she said.
"For us, it’s quite simple, there’s no big statement that he’s now become a national hero or anything like that," she said.
Survivors of rights abuses under Martial Law blocked the interment of the Marcos patriarch at the LNMB, a move proposed by President Rodrigo Duterte, but the Supreme Court junked their consolidated petitions on Tuesday.
For the younger Marcos, perhaps because she had been rebellious against her father, she wanted to make true at least his last wish.
The family, she reiterated, does not desire for their patriarch to receive state honors befitting a president.
"We just want a simple soldier’s burial—yung pangkaraniwang paglilibing sa kawal dahil yun ang gusto niya. Sa amin, kaunti lang kasi hinihingi ng tatay ko. He’s a very simple, rather austere man," she said.
Marcos believes her father deserves a burial at the Heroes' Cemetery because he is eligible for such.
"I’ve read it, it’s very clear—he falls under those categories of having been president, having been a soldier, a Medal of Valor guy, and also the Secretary of National Defense, which was a portfolio that you kept to himself," she said.
"Sa akin, gusto ko talaga na sumunod dahil yun ang hiniling niya, pero wala naman kaming ilusyon na magbabago, magugunaw yung mundo, tapos yung pagtingin ng lahat ng tao, hero na, tapos ilalaglag lahat ng kaso," she added.
"Wala yun. Tuloy-tuloy pa rin yung mga kaso, yung mga isyu na nire-raise. Talagang hindi naman matatahimik ‘yan."
Her only wish, she said, is for their side also be told to the younger generation so that they may decide for themselves.
"Para sa amin, yung side ng Marcos, yung side ng mga loyalista, side ng mga nakinabang at natulungan, pwede bang pakinggan niyo rin kami? Bigyan niyo rin kami ng pagkakataon."
"Naririnig natin, puro masasama. Okay lang yun, narinig na natin yun. Pero for the new generation and the future and for history, can we put it all on record as well, then let them judge. Let them judge. This is an extremely intelligent millennial generation and I think they will make the right call," she said.
DID NOT RENEGE ON RAMOS DEAL
Four years after Ferdinand died while on exile in Hawaii, his remains were flown back to the Philippines in 1993, after the Marcos family penned an agreement with then President Fidel Ramos.
In the agreement, the body would be flown straight from Hawaii to Ilocos Norte, and Marcos would be given honors befitting a Major, his last rank in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
In an account of former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan, who negotiated with the Marcoses on behalf of then President Fidel Ramos, Marcos' body will also not be paraded in Metro Manila at that time "because the wounds were still fresh in the minds of people."
The fourth condition is that there will be no burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Imee said that they "proceeded to comply religiously with every single point" mentioned.
She asserted, however, that this "reinforces" the Supreme Court's argument that the matter of her father's burial is a "political question."
"Ang dahilan na sinabi nila nung time ni FVR at ni Secretary Alunan, at that time was that it was going to be a threat to a national security kapag binaba pa by land at mag-martsa pa from Ilocos, dadaanan pa lahat ng probinsya isa-isa, dadami yung tao, magkakagulo, it will be completely out of control, and that they were fearful that it will cause havoc and mayhem and so on," she said.
"So we complied. We said, okay, iuwi lang natin si Tatang at pagkatapos nun, ay pag andito na yung Apo Lakay, saka na lang pag-isipan," she added.
She also affirmed that they agreed with the stipulation regarding the non-burial at the LNMB, but maintained that it was put in place as the administration's precaution against a security threat.
"At that time, sabi ni FVR, magkaka-gulo, masyado pang sariwa, talagang bubuhaying pa yung mga galit at yung mga alitan. Sabi namin, okay, game," she said, noting that they too were nervous because it had only been a few years.
"Pero ngayon, bigyan natin ng puwang si Presidente Duterte that it will be his determination because it’s a political question that he determine na parang sa kaniya, okay na eh, matagal na eh, ang haba-haba ng panahon—27 years [But now it's let's listen to President Duterte, for him it's okay. It's been too long ago]," she added.
"Now, it’s 27 years. Surely we’ve grown up. Surely we’re mature as a people. Surely our democracy is strengthened and really solid so that we’re able to conduct this sort of rituals that society requires so that we can put to rest our dead without causing all kinds of disruptions," she said.