MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday said they were only doing their job when they kept the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani a secret.
AFP spokesperson, Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said there was no announcement regarding Marcos' interment "in deference" to the desire of the former first family.
"Sila po ang namatayan, hindi kami. We just provide the services," he said at a press briefing on Friday.
[They are the ones who lost someone, not us. We just provide the services.]
Padilla said they were informed on Thursday at 5 p.m. by the Department of Defense to provide burial services for the late strongman on Friday noon.
"Kaya nila kami nabigyan ng short notice kasi of their request to do it in private and in confidentiality," he said.
[That's why were given short notice, because of their request to do it in private and in confidentiality.]
But the AFP official said the transfer of the remains by chopper and the adjustments to the tomb were all paid by the Marcos family, he said.
Upon arrival at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, he said honors were given to the late president and a 21 gun salute was rendered as his remains were lowered to the entombment area.
"This is a final salute to any soldier who is laid to rest," he said, adding they would have done the same for any ordinary soldier.
Padilla said the mood was "quiet" and "solemn," with only family, police and military present.
But he noted that they were not siding with anyone on the Marcos burial issue, especially since it is a "political" one.
"Your Armed Forces is the Armed Forces of the people... we do not side with anyone," he said.