DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 07August) – The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) has been tasked to designate a person who shall oversee the preparations for the burial of the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani at a date chosen by the Marcos family.
The LNMB is under the supervision and administration of the PVAO.
In an August 7 memorandum to General Ricardo Visaya, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that in compliance to the verbal order of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 11 “to implement his election campaign promise” to have the remains of Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB or Heroes’ Cemetery), “kindly undertake the necessary planning and preparations to facilitate the coordination of all agencies concerned specially the provisions for ceremonial and security arrangements.”
Lorenzana directed Visaya to coordinate with the Marcos family on the date of interment and the transport of the remains from Ilocos Norte to the LNMB, and to submit to his office the Implementing Plan “as soon as possible.”
The memorandum, a copy of which was e-mailed to media outlets by the Presidential Communications Office Sunday night, was issued on the same day Duterte said the Marcos family can bury the remains of the former President at the LNMB on September 11, his 99th birth anniversary, if they so wish.
“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 told reporters at around 2 a.m Sunday at the Naval Station Felix Apolinario (NSFA) in Panacan, this city, at the wake of the four soldiers slain in Compostela Valley province on August 5. (see other story)
Copies of Lorenzana’s memorandum to Visaya were furnished the PVAO administrator and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.
The late President Marcos was a lawyer who was elected Congressman and later Senator. He was Senate President before he was elected to a four-year term in 1965, was reelected in 1969 for a term that was set to end in 1973 but declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and ruled as a dictator until he was ousted by People Power on February 25, 1986.
Marcos Sr., who was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte on September 11, 1917, died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989.
It took four years before his body could be flown back to the Philippines – on September 7, 1993 — already under the administration of President Fidel Ramos, Marcos’ cousin.
Marcos’ remains are still encased in a glass for public viewing at the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac in Ilocos Norte. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)