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Aquino to Decide Marcos’ burial

MANILA – Malacanang say President Benigno Aquino III will make the final decision over a supposed “Solomonic” recommendation of Vice President Jejomar Binay to give dictator Ferdinand Marcos full military honors when his body is interred in his home province of Ilocos Norte and not at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

But Binay is said to be bristling that his unconfirmed recommendation had been leaked to the press by Malacanang. Before leaving for the US, he refused to confirm or deny the supposed leaked report.

“My friends had called me a traitor, etc. But I just laughed at them because in every decision you make, you will be met with cheers and jeers,” Binay said in an interview before boarding the 10 p.m. Philippine Airlines flight PR 102 for the United States at the Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City.

“As they usually say, this will be ‘Solomonic’,” Binay said he thinks the President will follow his recommendation. “I can defend my decision to anyone,” he boasted.

In February, the House of Representatives came up with Resolution No.1135 signed by 216 congressmen, seeking the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani which currently serves as burial site for military personnel. Former Presidents Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal are also buried in the cemetery.

Binay was later tasked by President Aquino to study the proposal, saying the latter would be able to give it “a fair hearing.”

“I’m telling you, someone from the OP leaked my recommendation to one of your colleagues. They leaked it to their friends in the media,” a visibly-irked Binay told reporters.

President Aquino, whose parents’ fought Marcos’ dictatorship, will have the last say, Binay said.

He had assured that the recommendation he had made to the President is “very balanced” as it contained all the sentiments of sectors he had consulted. “It contains all the reactions, even ‘curses’ of those who are against the proposal,” Binay said.

He stressed that the main problem is whether Marcos would be allowed to be buried or not at the heroes’ cemetery.

Even before he became President, Aquino had made known that he is not in favor of having Marcos’ body transferred to the heroes’ cemetery.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the President would make an announcement on the Marcos burial issue either Sunday or Monday.

The late President’s son and namesake, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was reportedly pleased with Binay’s recommendation. However, when reached for comment the young Marcos declined to make any comment.

Binay’s old group of human rights lawyers, the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI), strongly opposed the idea of transferring Marcos’ preserved remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani for the alleged massive corruption and human rights violations when he placed the country under martial law from 1972 to 1981.

On the other hand, Marcos’ loyalists had pointed out that Marcos deserved the distinction, owing to his achievements as a World War II veteran, legislator, and later President of the country.

 

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