I could not agree more with the suggestion of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos be buried in his home province in Ilocos Norte where he is loved by the people.
While Pimentel’s suggestion is directed more to the Marcos family, who to this day has kept the dictator’s body in a refrigerated crypt while awaiting the approval of a Philippine leader to have him buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ cemetery), it is just as well that president-elect Rodrigo Duterte should heed Pimentel’s advice for the sake of peace and closure on this issue.
Coming from one who has distinguished himself in Philippine politics by founding Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and who was once a political detainee under the oppressive Marcos regime, Pimentel knows whereof he speaks.
Ironically, PDP-Laban, who is headed now by Pimentel’s son and namesake, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel, is the political party of Duterte that carried him to victory, but who in turn has dismayed many Filipinos by his indifference to the feelings of the families of those persecuted and killed during the dark years of the regime by giving in to the Marcoses request that their infamous patriarch be interred at the Heroes’ cemetery.
But I don’t think it would make Duterte less of a person and a president to recant his statement of approval knowing how contentious and divisive the issue of Marcos burial at the Heroes’ cemetery is for the country. He will surely be doing a favor to the country and for that many Filipinos will be grateful for saving the country from any more protracted chaos than we already have suffered.
Pimentel said the Marcos family should no longer insist on giving their patriarch a hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“Sana naman ang pamilya ni (Hopefully the family of) President Marcos will not insist on giving him a hero’s burial sapagkat ang Martial Law (because during Martial Law), when his father was the one running the country under authoritarian dictatorship, andami pong napinsalang mga tao, andaming natorture, andaming namatay (many people got hurt, many got tortured, many died) ,” Pimentel said.
We all know who gets buried at the Heroes’ cemetery, but if the Marcoses insist that the dictator was a WWII veteran and therefore deserves a place inside, then Pimentel has answer for that too: change the present name of the cemetery to Libingan ng mga Sundalo (Soldiers’ cemetery).
Soldier, the despot may have been, but hero he surely was not. This, incoming president Duterte should ponder.