Malaya - Final ‘No’ on FM riles Bongbong

13 October 2011

By Jocelyn Montemayor and JP Lopez | Malaya

MALAYA_thumbPRESIDENT Aquino yesterday said there would be no state burial for former President Ferdinand Marcos under his administration.

According Marcos a state burial will be the "height of injustice" for martial law victims, he said.

Marcos’ son, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., called Aquino "a man without word of honor."

He asked Aquino what the point was in asking Vice President Jejomar Binay to conduct consultations on the matter if he would eventually put results of the consultations aside.

"Nagtataka ako bakit pa tayo pinag-aksaya ng panahon kung di naman talaga susundin yung mga rekomendasyon, mga study. Mukhang sarswela lang pala lahat ‘tong ating ginawa. It turns out it was a futile exercise," he said.

Aquino said he would apologize to Binay about his decision, especially since Binay has been conducting a study on the matter since February.

Binay in June submitted results of his study, and his recommendation to allow a state burial for Marcos who will be laid to rest in his hometown in Batac in Ilocos Norte instead of at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as his family wants.

"He (Binay) had a recommendation, and it was recently called to my attention again, we have so many victims of the martial law years, who have not gotten even recognition formally from this government…They have not been accorded an apology, the compensation bill is still pending, and it would be really, I think, the height of injustice to render any honors to the person who was the direct mastermind of all their suffering…I think I will not, I am not sanctioning, not under my watch, a burial for the late president Marcos," he said.

Aquino said according Marcos state honors would "demean the honors given to others of a similar nature."

Senator Marcos said Aquino promised to consider his family’s proposal when he was still a candidate only so that he could get votes.

"Sa aking pananaw, nakapag-decide na pala siya bago pa nung kampanya...yung salita nung kampanya para lang makakuha ng boto," he said. "Hindi pala siya tapat sa kanyang sinabi nung kanyang pagka-upo. It was play acting on his part, the President’s part," Marcos said.

"He has wasted a very good opportunity to unify the nation. He obviously does not want to heal those divisions...he wants to widen those divisions, which brings us to the conclusion he’s not a natural leader," he said.

"(This) is not the act of a leader. It is not the act of the head of state. It is not the act of somebody who is trying to bring the country together. It is the act of somebody who is continuing to promote the divisiveness of partisan politics," he added.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Binay’s recommendations were taken into account by Aquino, but the President still has the last say on the matter.

"It’s a recommendation and the President can either accept or reject it, "he said.

Marcos died in 1989 while in exile in Hawaii. His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 during the term of then president Fidel Ramos who said he approved it on three preconditions: direct transport of the body to Batac; accordance of military honors for an Army major; and, immediate burial of the body.

Marcos’ body has been in a refrigerated crypt in Batac since 1993.