SENATE President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III wants a portion of Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) set aside for historical Filipino figures aside from those who served in the military.
Pimentel filed Senate Bill 1246, entitled “An Act Segregating Parcels of Land within the Libingan ng mga Bayani Allocated for the Remains of Filipino Historical Figures to be Known as the Libingan ng mga Makasaysayang Pilipino.”
The bill seeks to set aside the land within the LNMB wherein past Presidents of the Philippines, statesmen, dignitaries, and national artists and scientists are interred, into a cemetery separate from the remains of those who served in the military which will be called the Libingan ng mga Makasaysayang Pilipino, or LNMP.
If passed into law, it will preserve the LNMB as a military memorial consistent with the purpose intended for it when it was established in 1947 as the Republic Memorial Cemetery.
The Republic Memorial Cemetery was renamed the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 1954 through Proclamation No. 86 of then-President Ramon Magsaysay.
In 1948, a year after the establishment of the LNMB, Republic Act 248 was enacted, which mandated the construction of a National Pantheon where remains of all Presidents of the Philippines, national heroes, and patriots would be interred to perpetuate their memory for the inspiration and emulation of generations of Filipinos.
Pimentel explained that, “since no new National Pantheon was constructed pursuant to the said law, LNMB served as the National Pantheon envisioned under the law to be the burial place of the mortal remains of all the Presidents of the Philippines, national heroes, and patriots.”
Pimentel said that this is the reason why AFP Regulation G 161-375 included Filipinos of historical interest and others to be interred in the LNMB alongside the remains of those with military service.