MANILA – If a “little lie” by a cadet cost his dream of becoming a soldier, then there is no reason to allow the burial of a dictator like Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), an official said.
National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) chairperson Prof. Maria Serena Diokno said opposition to the burial of the late dictator at the hero’s cemetery in Taguig City must continue because the interment in LNMB revises the country’s history and sends the wrong message to the youth.
Diokno’s agency earlier conducted a comprehensive study tackling the lies made by the late strongman about his military records in the United States.
“Sa US archives, ang daming pagsisinungaling. Mismong yung ranggo niya nag-sinungaling siya,” Dikno told dzMM.
“Ang pinakita namin, ganon bang record na iyon ang bibigyan niyo ng karangalan at kahit mismong bilang sundalo ililibing niyo sa Libingan?”
Diokno then pointed out the case of Aldrin Cudia, who was expelled from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) after violating the Honor Code for lying about the reason for his tardiness in one of his classes.
Cudia’s case reached the Supreme Court, which later sided with the PMA. This ended his dream of becoming a soldier.
Diokno said it baffles her that the high court did not let pass Cudia’s “little lie” but was too liberal in siding with President Rodrigo Duterte, who allowed the dictator’s burial in hallowed grounds despite the numerous atrocities during his 20-year rule.
“Nung panahon ni PNoy (then president Benigno Aquino III), iisang estudyante sa PMA na nagsinungaling dahil late sa class -- maliit na pagsisinungaling lang iyon kung tutuusin -- tapos nag-appeal at nasa SC at sinustain ang desisyon ng PMA,” Diokno said.
“Kaliit liit na bagay, eh eto pa kaya? Ang daming sunod sunod na pagsisinungaling, nilibing sa Libingan?”
The Supreme Court earlier this month rejected a consolidated 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.
Anti-Marcos groups, however, were surprised that the burial pushed through on November 18 despite a probable appeal from the petitioners for the high court to overturn its decision. Protest actions erupted in some parts of the country that day.
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. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, three years after he was ousted by a military-backed popular revolt.
The burial of the late dictator is a highlight in his family’s bid to make a political comeback following a humiliating ouster in 1986.
The late dictator's only son and namesake, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., narrowly lost the vice-presidential race this year to Leni Robredo, an ally of the family's political nemesis and Duterte's immediate predecessor, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
His widow, former First Lady Imelda Marcos is a congresswoman in Ilocos Norte while his eldest daughter, Imee, is the provincial governor.
The country marked 30th anniversary of Marcos' ouster this year, with 75,000 victims still awaiting reparation.
The Marcoses allegedly plundered $10 billion from state coffers during their reign and only $4 billion in cash and assets have been recovered by an anti-graft body formed by his successor, the late president Corazon Aquino.