Defense chief says AFP to render 21-gun salute to FM

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/12 November) — Ousted strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos will be given a 21-gun salute should his family’s wish to have him buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani push through, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Friday.

Lorenzana said the burial will not be a state funeral but will follow the military tradition of burying “a soldier who had done a service to his country.”

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines has already prepared a rifle party of seven Army soldiers who will deliver the succession of volley shots during the burial of the late president.

Marcos ruled the country for 20 years, 14 years under martial law which saw the arrests, torture and killings of thousands of Filipinos who opposed him.

“It will be a normal funeral. The rifle party is the only involvement of this administration although we will secure the Libingan premises from protesters,” Lorenzana told reporters during a gathering of veterans here on Friday.

The secretary said the Marcos family will shoulder all the expenses and attend to the burial arrangements.

President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the request of Marcos’ heirs that the late strongman be buried at the Libingan.

Victims of martial law and other groups filed a petition questioning Duterte’s order at the Supreme Court. The petitioners argued that Marcos does not deserve a hero’s burial due to the abuses during his rule.

The tribunal, however, upheld the president’s order by a vote of nine in favor, five against and one abstention.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Marcos will be buried at the Libingan before the year ends. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)