By: Elena Grace Flores
In conjunction to the protest at the Luneta urging the president to stop the burial of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, President Rodrigo Duterte stressed that the law does not prohibit his decision because Libingan ng mga Bayani or Heroes’ Cemetery is for the soldiers and presidents, whether they were heroes or not.
“The law… does not even mention heroes. It simply says that if you are a soldier, and another section of the law that is the precedent,” Duterte said at a press conference in Davao City.
Referring to the name “bayani,” or hero, he said that it is a “generic title” and not all who are buried there are heroes. “For the years that (Marcos) has rendered his service for the country (he can be buried there), but it does not mean that he’s really a hero in the true sense of the word; he clarified.
“I would like to say forget about the medals. Just focus on whether he’s a Filipino, he fought for his country and is once upon a time a president, that’s the law,” he reiterated.
Duterte also argued that the camp of former President Corazon Aquino could have passed a law prohibiting Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani – but since they failed to do so, then they should suffer the consequence of their failures. The regulation, however, also bans the interment of personnel dishonorably discharged and others convicted of charges involving moral turpitude but Marcos’ civil cases were not of that nature. In fact, he was never convicted of any crime. Also he was not discharged – he was ousted by the people’s revolt headed by the Aquinos to gain power.