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(READ: Duterte: Marcos ‘not a hero’ but 'law' allows burial at Libingan) Duterte, however, said he would abide by the SC decision.Filipinos may argue all day long about whether Ferdinand Marcos deserves to be buried in a grave “for heroes,” but will the late dictator’s remains be welcome in a cemetery “for heroes and Presidents”? Roque filed a bill on Wednesday seeking the name change in hopes of defusing public indignation over President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to bury the former President at the Libingan.READ: SC halts preparations for Marcos’ burial at Libingan He noted that the plan to bury Marcos at the Libingan was causing “massive unrest among Filipinos who question the heroism of former President Marcos, given the human rights record of the martial law years.” “From both a legal and moral standpoint, many Filipinos, especially victims of the evils of martial law, question the propriety of burying Marcos at the [Libingan],” he said.Turning the debate on Marcos’ burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani (heroes’ cemetery) on its head, a party-list representative now seeks to rename the burial ground to “Libingan ng Mga Bayani at Mga Dating Pangulo” (Cemetery for Heroes and former Presidents). The issue of transferring Marcos’ remains from a refrigerated crypt in his Batac hometown in Ilocos Norte to the Libingan has long divided Filipinos, as memories of abuses and atrocities during his regime linger, especially among human rights victims.Marcos died in September 1989 while in exile in Hawaii, two years after he was ousted by a peaceful people power uprising on Edsa.Roque said his proposal would effectively stop the debate on whether the late tyrant could be considered a “hero.” “It appears that the Duterte administration, barring a Supreme Court permanent injunction, is intent on interring the remains of former President Ferdinand E.Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani,” he said in a exploratory note.



In his explanatory note, Roque noted that various groups, lawmakers, Martial Law victims, and their relatives have opposed transferring Marcos’ remains from Batac, Ilocos Norte to the Libingan ng mga Bayani on September 18 “given the human rights record of the Martial Law years.” “The State, in the spirit of democratic deliberation, may address the simmering controversy through the People’s representatives in Congress, through a legislative act that honors the memories of those who suffered under Martial Law as well as affords a former President of the Republic a final resting place for his remains,” said Roque.“By renaming the ‘Libingan ng Mga Bayani’ to ‘Libingan ng Mga Bayani at Mga Dating Pangulo,’ we can defer from judging whether a former president was or was not a ‘hero.’ Let the people’s memory be the judge – not the whims of a certain administration,” the lawmaker added.


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