DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07 August) — President RodrigoDuterte has given the Marcos family the go signal to bury the country’s strongman, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City on September 11, his 99th birth anniversary, if they so wish.
Duterte told reporters at around 2 a.m Sunday at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario (NSFA) in Panacan, this city, that Marcos family now has the free hand to have the remains of the former president laid to rest at the heroes’ cemetery.
“If (former) Senator Bongbong (Ferdinand Marcos Jr.) feels that it would be fitting day to celebrate his (Marcos Sr.) birthday at the the Libingan ng mga Bayani, so be it,” Duterte said.
Marcos Sr. was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte on September 11, 1917 and died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989.
His remains are still encased in a glass for public viewing at the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac in Ilocos Norte.
Duterte explained that Marcos Sr. should be laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he was a President and a soldier.
During the election campaign, Duterte had said he would allow the burial of the late dictator at the heroes’ cemetery.
“We are a divided nation. Out of 10, maybe nine nagsentimyento. Only one hates Marcos, but that is not the point. The point is, he is qualified or his the family has that right to bury their father or husband because he was president of the Republic of the Philippines and he was a soldier at one time of his life,” he said.
The president, who earned the moniker “The Punisher” for his hardline stance against drugs and criminality, said he respects the activists who would protest his decision to allow the burial of the late strongman.
He added he would allow them hold protest actions on the streets even for one month for as long as it will not worsen the traffic situation in Manila.
“Your right to air is a constitutional rights but that right is subject to the rights of others not of your liking or sharing your belief,” he added.
He shared that his father, Vicente Duterte, then governor of undivided Davao, served under Marcos as one of his cabinet members.
He had earlier said he was not inclined to appoint Vice President Leni Robredo to a Cabinet post because he did not want to offend Marcos, Jr., who was second to Robredo in the vice presidential race. Duterte later named Robredo to a Cabinet post as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
Marcos has filed an election protest.
Duterte has also repeatedly said that when he ran for President, he had only two or three governors supporting him and one of them was Governor Imee Marcos of Ilocos Norte. (Antonio L. Colina IV/ MindaNews)