ADMINISTRATION officials and the Marcos family did not violate any law with the interment of the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City last Friday.
In a press conference, Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro, a lawyer, explained that there was no longer an order from the Supreme Court that barred the government from giving the green light for the Marcos family to bury the former President at the LNMB because the status quo ante order had been lifted.
“The Marcoses violated no law. To begin with, there is no more TRO. The status quo ante order has already been lifted by the SC. This simply means the burying of former President Marcos’ remains can now proceed,” Castro told reporters.
On Sunday, Castro told Rowena Salvacion’s radio morning program Buena Manong Balita over dzBB of his strong belief that the SC will not
reverse its nine against five and one abstention ruling that paved the way for the burial of former President Marcos at LNMB.
In the same press conference, Deputy Speaker and Ilocos Sur Rep. Eric Singson and Diwa party-list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar echoed Castro’s position that officials of the Duterte administration and the Marcoses have not committed any wrongdoing.
Singson said the petition of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the leaders of the Magnificent 7 or the Legitimate Opposition, asking the SC to exhume the remains of former President Marcos at LNMB for forensic examination will not prosper as it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
“It’s something that is sacred to us. That is very hard for the family to accept. Filipinos don’t like this kind of thing. The debate will not end there, precisely because this issue is political. It will divide the nation further. Besides, the SC has decided,” Singson said on Lagman’s petition before SC proposing a forensic examination in order to determine with certainty that the “mortal remains” of former President Marcos, not any other artifact or a wax replica of him, were interred.
The three lawmakers also expressed belief that the left-leaning Cabinet members of President Duterte will not be bolting from his administration simply because the body of former President Marcos was buried at the heroes cemetery.
“I don’t believe that the allies of President Duterte from the left will be leaving the Cabinet. Marcos’ burial has nothing to do with their mandate as members of the cabinet. All of these guys are intelligent,” said Castro.
Villar said she couldn’t agree more, noting that this has been the “campaign promise” of President Duterte – to allow the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to finally put an end to the issue that has polarized the nation for 30 long years.
“I don’t think they will resign. This has been President Duterte’s campaign promise. We all know this. And they knew this very well even
before they accepted their appointments. Now that this happened, of course they expected this,” Villar explained.
Calling it a case of damn if you do, damn if you don’t, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa yesterday defended the National Capital Region Police Office’s actions during the burial of the late President Marcos.
And amid plans of anti-Marcos groups to launch huge protest rallies to condemn the burial at the heroes’ cemetery of Marcos this coming Friday, Gen. de la Rosa called on his men to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with the demonstrators and “smile, wave and be happy” when confronted by angry protesters.
“Smile, wave and be happy sa mga demonstrators. Makakalimutan din nila ang pain,” he said.
The top cop said he really believed that the NCRPO did the right thing when it announced the Marcos burial barely two hours before Marcoses’ remains were flown to the heroes’ cemetery. The NCRPO believed that had it made the announcement days earlier, more anti-Marcos protesters could have swamped the place and had a face-to-face confrontation with Marcos supporters.
He also scored Vice President Leni Robredo for expressing disappointment with the police for coordinating secretly with the Marcos family for the burial of the late president. He said that the NCRPO only acceded to the request of the Marcos family and provided security for the burial as part of its job to ensure the safety and security of Metro Manila.
The administration has decried efforts by officials of the former Aquino administration to ride on the high emotions on the interment of Marcos and take it as an opportunity to lambast the Duterte government.
Known Aquino officials like his former spokesman Edwin Lacierda, former Aquino peace process adviser Teresita ‘Ging’ Deles and former Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman were reportedly spotted at the anti-Marcos and anti-Duterte protest rally at the People Power Monument on EDSA, Quezon City late Friday afternoon.
‘Live with your grief’
“I knew nothing about it.”
President Rodrigo Duterte made the remark as he urged protesters of the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani “to live with your grief and hatred.”
“So there was really a deep wound somewhere in the country. But for those who cannot really forgive, that’s the hard part. You just have to live with your grief, and that grief is hate. That is the problem,” the President said.
Duterte stood pat on his decision to allow Marcos to be laid to rest at the heroes’ cemetery.
The President also insisted that he had not known about the date of Marcos’ burial at the Libingan, which was marked by secrecy.
“In all honesty, I’m telling you: I knew nothing about it. They only asked me when would be the appropriate time for me? I said, ‘do as you wish’,” he said.
“I didn’t ask them, and why would I ask? I allowed it already so what’s it to me? What would I get if I had known in advance whether he would be there for the interment on that day?” the President said.