Why not bury former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Filipino Heroes’ Cemetery)? That is the question that came to light in the wake of the burial there of former Secretary and retired General Angelo Reyes, who was in the middle of being implicated in a big-time corruption scandal at the time of his death in 2011. Marcos’s son, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr back then “reiterated his call for the burial of his father, the late former President Ferdinand Marcos, in the Libingan ng mga Bayani”. Television personality Karen Davila was quoted by ANC 24/7 as having quoted Bongbong saying that “if Angelo Reyes was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, my late father should also be buried there”.
So why not? He was President of the Philippines for two decades after all and, like Angelo Reyes, was never convicted for his alleged crimes. Indeed, his son is a Philippine Senator and his wife, former First Lady Imelda Marcos is a member of the House of Representatives. As far as I can tell, none of Marcos’s top military officers or Cabinet members were taken to account for the alleged “crimes” perpetrated during his 20-year rule. Among the architects of the much maligned Martial Law of the 70’s can be counted former President Fidel Ramos who is widely respected for the administration he ran in the 90’s. Marcos’s Minister of Defense and right-hand-man at the height of his dictatorship, Juan Ponce Enrile, even served as Senate President.
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Indeed, take stock of the political landscape of today and the who’s-who of the folks in power today with eyes uncoloured by the Aquinoist propaganda that dominated much of the last 30 years, and one would be hard-pressed to imagine Ferdinand Marcos as the bad guy he is made out to be.
Credit this to an astounding several decades of a lack of results spanning the year 1986 when Marcos was deposed in a so-called “people power” “revolution” through the Silver Anniversary of this “revolution” celebrated in 2011 and then through to today. This lack of results is vast in scope — from a lack of closure on much of the “crimes” supposedly committed by Marcos and his henchmen, a flaccid effort to recover the loot he allegedly made off with, and, most glaringly obvious, the lack of progress in the overall condition of Philippine society.
The biggest irony, of course is how, despite being president, Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III neglected to pour resources into investigating his own father’s yet-unsolved murder in 1983. And yet, cheerleaders in the Aquino camp continue to insist that it was former President Marcos who was allegedly behind this assassination.
Compared to other societies where swift — and often harsh — justice was dealt their respective despots once they were ousted from power, the Philippines simply muddled along in its renowned flaccid form over those decades chanting slogans peppered with words like “social justice”, “vigilance”, and “hope” in a sad monumental effort to mask an underlying lack of real national substance.
Perhaps then, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos is entitled to a decent burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We have, after all, come full circle and now need to come to terms with the in-your-face realisation that it was not Marcos or his legacy after all that accounts for the lack of any real progress in the Philippines.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.