By Perry Diaz
Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay’s recommendation to bury the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos with “full military honors” in his home province of Ilocos Norte, not at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery), is the best solution to President Benigno Aquino III’s dilemma. It’s an equitable compromise considering that it has divided the people in half between those who oppose his burial at the Libingan and those who believe that he deserves to be buried in a place reserved for heroes.
Given that one half of those who responded to an SWS survey believed that he was a hero and the other half believed that he was not a hero, it would have been a no-win situation for Binay. However, if Binay were King Solomon, he would have done something similar to what King Solomon had done to resolve the issue of the two mothers claiming the same baby: “Cut the body in half and bury one part at the Libingan and the other part in Ilocos Norte.”
Those who opposed the burial at the Libingan would probably say, “Go ahead and cut the body in half and bury one half at the Libingan and give the other half to the Marcos family.” But the Marcos family would most likely say, “Never! We’d rather bury his whole body in Ilocos Norte than desecrate his remains!”
Indeed, Binay’s recommendation has a “Solomonic” effect. While he denied Marcos a hero’s burial at the Libingan, he was willing to give him “full military honors,” which Marcos deserved for serving his country as an officer during World War II. It’s a win-win situation… and nobody would lose face.
In my article, “Brouhaha over Marcos Burial” (Global Balita, April 26, 2011), I wrote: “A burial in Ilocos Norte would certainly put a closure to an issue that has been lingering and ‘haunting’ the nation for more than two decades. Superstitious Filipinos believe that the ghost of a deceased who’s not given proper burial would roam the earth until his or her remains were laid to rest.
“It’s about time the Marcos family bury their deceased patriarch in a place where the Ilocanos — who love and revere him as their most venerable ‘Apo’ — would honor him. He deserved no less.”
President Aquino should approve Binay’s recommendation and convey this to the Marcos family himself. It’s time for closure. It’s also time for us to move forward and leave behind – but never forget – that sad episode in our history.
And to Vice President Binay, I must say: “Congratulations for a job well done. Very presidential, indeed.”