It read like one of the greatest sleights of hand ever pulled. When the Philippine Supreme Court allowed the controversial burial of former President and perceived dictator Ferdinand Marcos on the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) at Taguig in Metro Manila, the loud outcry over the decision made it seem like the Marcos family may have to wait a bit more to plan the interment at a moment when protestors aren’t out on the streets in force. So when a military helicopter arrived at Ilocos Norte close to the Marcos mausoleum on early Friday November 18, some questions were asked that were mollified somewhat by the reply that it was transporting relief goods. By the time somebody got wise. It was all over.
CNN Philippines reports that after nearly three decades of uncertainty from his death in 1989, Ferdinand Marcos was finally laid to rest in a grave, at the LNMB as was his legal right being both a President and a soldier of the country. But try telling that to the many militants and survivors of the Martial Law years of Marcos’ second term, of which the stories were true and so were their grievances.
They have protested vehemently against his burial at a place of honor, insisting that his corrupt and brutal rule completely invalidated any other genuine virtues and services he may have possessed that warranted him this.
Aside from an online bulletin by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announcing that the internment will be held at noon November 18, no other notice was given. So the usual crowd of tourists and Marcos loyalists who regularly visited his mausoleum in Batac had no idea that while they were waiting for opening hours of 11 in the morning, by 9AM the visiting military helicopter was already flying to Taguig with its polarizing cargo.
Upon arrival, the remains were accorded proper military privilege with pallbearers and a battalion-sized Army honor guard. Accompanying the funeral convoy were Marcos’ First Lady and former legislator Imelda, his son former senator and vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Jr., and daughter Ilocos Norte governor Imee. With riot police station at the Cemetery gates, the prescribed military sendoff was given – 21-gun salute and all – and the deed was done. No media were allowed to witness the ceremony.
A later statement by Governor Marcos thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and the Supreme Court for allowing her father to finally rest in peace with his fellow soldiers. She also posted an edited video of the whole burial proceedings from the arrival of Marcos’ remains to the military ceremony.
While militants and victims along with their families continue to protest, the latest generation of Filipinos continue living their daily lives, ignorant of Martial Law and even the dictator who had been President long ago.
Photo Credit to http://www.arabnews.com/