MANILA – Former President Fidel Ramos on Monday said the surprise burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is a “step backwards” for the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law period were enraged by the burial of the late dictator at the heroes’ cemetery on Friday. The Supreme Court majority decision in favor of the burial was still subject to a motion for reconsideration.
In a news conference, Ramos said the move of the Marcos family to hasten the burial of the patriarch, with the help of the police and military, is a “step backwards” for the Duterte administration.
"You must understand, that is just a happening in a series of happenings. The scheme of the Marcos family with the connivance of some elements of Armed Forces including the natonal police -- some only, not everybody -- is a step backwards for this administration in the sense that they are losing support, they are losing friends," Ramos said.
The Palace, the police and the military earlier gave conflicting answers on whether Duterte, who is currently in Lima, Peru for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, was aware of the burial.
The SC earlier rejected a petition by human rights victims to stop the transfer of Marcos’ remains to the same resting place of former presidents, national artists and heroes of war.
Marcos’ remains were transferred by helicopter from Ilocos Norte province, where it had been kept since it was brought back to the country in 1993. Marcos died while in exile in Hawaii in 1989, three years after he was ousted by a military-backed popular revolt.
Ramos was a key figure in the bloodless People Power Revolution in 1986, having turned his back on Marcos after serving as chief of the Philippine Constabulary.
Despite Duterte’s decision to allow the burial, Ramos said he does not regret convincing the long-time Davao City mayor to run for the country’s top post.