According to former Vice President Jejomar Binay, the current controversy surrounding the impending burial of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB) should never have happened. Back when he was still with the Office of the Vice President (OVP), Binay had proposed that Marcos be buried in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Binay’s spokesman, Joey Salgado, recalled in a statement that in 2011, Aquino had tasked the former vice president to study the issue of Marcos’ burial at the Libingan.
The Office of the Vice President sought the opinion of political parties, sectors, organizations and the public, and also consulted the Marcos family, Salgado said, receiving more than 3,000 letters, emails and text messages in response.
In June 2011, Binay recommended that Marcos be buried in Batac, an option he said had been approved by the late president’s family.
“However, Aquino did not act on the recommendation. That’s why the nation is once again torn by debates over a contentious issue that could have been buried a long time ago,” Salgado said.
Maybe Binay’s recommendation is another one of those things that “got lost in the bureaucratic maze.” Perhaps, in the coming days, any or all of the talking heads in the former Aquino administration will issue statements denying that the OVP ever submitted a proposal.
At this point, one can only speculate on the real reason why the issue of the Marcos burial was not resolved during BS Aquino’s term. But a few patterns evident during the Aquino presidency could give us more things to think about.
If Binay’s recommendation had been submitted in June 2011, why was it not acted on between that time and June 2016?
The Aquino administration had been focused on getting rid of its political enemies in the name of “reform”. Not surprisingly, those it deemed corrupt, and thus were targets of reform, were associated with BS Aquino’s predecessor Gloria Arroyo. Aquino’s presidency had also chosen to concern itself with campaigning even when the elections weren’t near. It was too busy bragging about getting credit ratings and riding on the economic policies from its predecessor. It hid from crises but was quick to leap to the defense of its beloved Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). It focused on keeping up an image instead of actually doing real work.
It is generally accepted among Aquino’s critics that BS Aquino and friends don’t really want anything regarding the Marcoses and their history with their own family resolved. If they did, then the mystery surrounding Ninoy Aquino’s assassination would have already been cleared, for example.
Keeping issues with the Marcoses alive, and vilifying them for those, seem to be the only things that will keep the Aquinos relevant.
Perhaps BS Aquino couldn’t be bothered to resolve the issue because he didn’t like the personalities associated with it. Aside from the name Marcos, Aquino would also likely have regarded Binay with scorn. Binay was the opponent of the Liberal Party’s own candidate for Vice President in 2010, Mar Roxas. Amid controversy, Binay won over Roxas; just recently, interestingly enough, the electoral protest filed by Mar was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Or quite simply, the Marcos burial issue, considering the timeline, happened to be an easy target for Noynoying.
“Noynoying is the new planking: upo lang walang gagawin kundi papogi at tamad-tamaran,”[Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chair] said.[Tagalog quote translated: “just sit around and do nothing other than try to look good while being lazy”]
Whatever the reason the Aquino administration did not resolve it, by allowing the burial at the LNMB, current president Rodrigo Duterte has put his foot down. This is yet another mess that Duterte has had to inherit from the Aquino administration.
It will puzzle me to no end how Aquino and his presidency can be regarded as anything but awful, if all they did with problems was sit on them.
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- Why are Filipinos reluctant to call wrongdoing out? - September 30, 2018
- Going around in circles - August 31, 2018
- Resurgence, relevance, and regard for the future, all in the SONA - July 31, 2018