Even the only surviving sister of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was surprised with the immediate burial of her brother at the heroes’ cemetery on Friday.
Fortuna Marcos-Barba said she was unaware of the burial and was simply asked by her niece, Ilocos Governor Imee Marcos, to go to the governor’s house in Laoag City on early Friday morning.
“Tinawagan ako eh. Tapos pagdating ko ‘dun, [Imee said] ‘Auntie, you have to come with us. We are bringing my dad to manila.’ Sabi ko, When? [Imee said] ‘Now. Ngayon na auntie,’ sabi niyang ganun. So sinundo naman ako. That’s what happened. Sumakay kami sa helicopter, dinala kami sa Manila. Well actually, darating din pala si madam (Imelda Marcos) don, siyempre dapat naman andun siya,” Barba said.
(I was called and when I arrived there, Imee said, ‘Auntie, you have to come with us, We are bringing my dad to manila.’ I asked when and Imee said, ‘Now. Ngayon na auntie.’ So I was fetched, that’s what happened. We rode a helicopter and we were brought to Manila. Well actually, Madam (Imelda Marcos) will also arrive there. Of course she needs to be there.)
She added that there was a final viewing before the burial and that she was able to get a glimpse of her brother’s body.
Barba said the late dictator’s body is similar to the one displayed in Batac City. “Well how can I describe him? 'Yung itsura niya sa Batac na he was at peace,” she said.
Barba also chose to ignore rumors that the body displayed in Batac is only a wax replica.
“Ayokong makinig sa sinasabi nila, basta ang ina-ano ko, I just depend on what I see. 'Yun talagang kwan ko. Hindi 'yung pakikinggan ko ‘yung sinabi ni ganun, o pakikinggan ko 'yung sinabi ni ganyan. E sino paniniwalaan mo, e di sarili ko. Siya nga 'yun e. Siya nga 'yun eh,” she said.
(I don’t want to listen to what they are saying. For me, I just depend on what I see. I don’t listen to what other people say. Who else would I believe but myself. I know that was him.)
Despite criticism over the hurried burial, Barba said she believes that what they did was the right thing.
“Sabi nila, para kaming pumuslit-puslit. Well I don’t know how everyone will look at it. Pero sa amin, we thought we were doing the right thing,” she said.
(They say it’s like we were doing things secretly.)
She added that she doesn’t blame her brother’s critics but the public should “really learn to forgive and forget.”
“I really don't blame them. Siyempre nagkakaroon sila ng sama ng loob. At this point in time in our lives, we should really learn to forgive and forget. We cannot always be holding grudges against one another. I really don’t know what people these days… what exactly are they protesting on? Hindi ba mas maigi na he is laid to rest? Na wala na 'yung kung ano-ano man 'yung magiging kontrobersiya,” she said.
(Of course they will have grudges… Isn’t it better that he is laid to rest? That there are no more issues that can become controversies?)
The late dictator and former president Marcos was hurriedly buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani on Friday noon which sparked protests and criticism across the country.