Bill filed seeking sports heroes' burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2022 12:11 PM

Visitors pay their last respects to Filipino sports icon Lydia De Vega-Mercado at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Meycauayan, Bulacan on August 16, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Visitors pay their last respects to Filipino sports icon Lydia De Vega-Mercado at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Meycauayan, Bulacan on August 16, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- Surigao del Norte representative Robert "Ace" Barbers on Thursday filed House Bill 3716, which honors the country's sports heroes and seeks to give them a chance to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. 

"Sports stars become heroes when they are admired for their athletic accomplishments. As a society, we yearn to feel a connection to them, bask in their success, and pattern our lives after them," said Barbers, quoting Joseph Hastings in an article written recently.

"Filipino sports icons have this amazing, unique way of making a positive impact in our society. They are our source of inspiration and strength in direst situations and serve as good role models, especially to the youth," he added.

"With their incredible achievements that brought honor to our country, they deserve a spot at the Libingan ng mga Bayani."

HB 3716 seeks to allow the interment of sports heroes at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in recognition of their enormous work, dedication and sacrifices they have endured to bring pride and honor to our country. 

The bill defines "sports heroes" as distinguished Filipino athletes who possess character and integrity, and who have represented and brought honor to the country by winning at least a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games, at least a silver medal in the Asian Games or Asian Cup, at least a bronze medal in the Olympics or World Games, or emerged as a world champion in any professional sports competition.

Barbers filed the bill in the wake of the passing of Philippine sports icon Lydia de Vega, who won nine gold medals in the SEA Games and was once the fastest woman in Asia.

"I hope that it is not too late to honor our sports heroes like Lydia de Vega. This measure is but a token of gratitude that we all enormously owe her and our other unsung sports heroes," said Barbers.

De Vega, who passed away after a four-year battle with breast cancer, was laid to rest at the Pandayan Memorial Park in Meycauayan, Bulacan on Wednesday. 

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