‘Solomonic’ solution to Marcos burial issue

By Perry Diaz

Finally, after four months of waiting for a presidential decision on whether to allow or not allow the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay submitted his recommendation to the President that Marcos be buried with “full military honors” in Ilocos Norte, Marcos’ home province.

In my editorial, “Good job Jojo” (Global Balita, June 3, 2011), I wrote: “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 “P-Noy”Aquino III’s dilemma.  It’s an equitable compromise considering that it has divided the people in half between those who opposed his burial at the Libingan and those who believed that he deserved 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.”

Libingan ng mga Bayani (credit: Jun Acullador)

Binay under fire

But Binay has to pay a stiff price for his “Solomonic” solution.  As soon as his recommendation was leaked out to the media, he started getting flak from all sectors including a lot of his friends and political allies, many of who called him, “taksil” (traitor).  But where were they when Binay asked the 130 Comelec-accredited political parties about their official stand on the burial issue?  Nobody – not one! – responded.  In the end, Binay was left to himself to make a decision on a thorny problem.

Binay knew that he was working against an organized effort in favor of burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The House of Representatives passed a resolution signed by 216 congressmen in support of a Libingan burial.  In an SWS survey, one half of the respondents believe that he was a hero and therefore deserves to be buried at the Libingan.

Aquino-Marcos connections

Binay’s recommendation also didn’t dwell too well with some of P-Noy’s supporters.  In an email message, of which I was furnished a copy, a leader of a Fil-Am advocacy group wrote: “Because of the close personal friendship that developed when they were both serving in the House, ‘Wily Imee’ was able to get PNoy to agree to allow Marcos to be buried ‘with full State burial honors in Ilocos’.”

Curiously, I responded to that Fil-Am leader: “From what I read, it’s ‘full military honors,’ not ‘full State burial honors.’  These are two different things.” And his reply was: “It’s really a distinction without a difference. The key word is ‘honors’ not military or even state.”  I replied: “The distinction is miles apart and the difference is distinct.  Marcos was a veteran of World War II and he received the Medal of Valor (which was authenticated).  Therefore, at the very least, his coffin should be draped with the Philippine flag and be given 19-gun salute.  That’s military honors.”  Then I added: “While Marcos did not deserve ‘State honors,’ the military has the right to accord him ‘honors’ as a veteran.   Gosh, even a private first class is entitled to military honors.”

Last June 5, 2011, a few days after Binay’s recommendation leaked out, Malacañang issued a statement through deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, “Making a decision on where Marcos should be interred was not a simple matter.”  Then she added, “There were many things to consider before arriving at a decision.” Huh?  What “many things”?

It’s interesting to note that when P-Noy was declared the winner in the 2010 elections, he received a congratulatory text message from Imee Marcos and from which he announced that he had reconciled with the Marcoses.  Is this one of the “many things” that P-Noy had to consider?  Also of note is that Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa was a longtime law partner of Lisa Araneta Marcos, the wife of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Is it probable then that P-Noy was leaning all along towards allowing Marcos a hero’s burial at the Libingan?  And did P-Noy choose his ever-loyal Vice President – who would take a bullet for him – to make that happen; thus, sparing himself the ignominy of betraying his own father who the Aquino family believes was ordered killed by Marcos?

Marcos a hero?

Last June 7, 2011, in reaction to Binay’s recommendation, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin – who served under the Cory Aquino administration — and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said that Marcos “deserves to be given military honors and to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani under military regulations.”

One might ask if Marcos was deemed a “hero” by virtue of him receiving the country’s highest military recognition, shouldn’t he be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani? Not necessarily.  In my opinion, burial at the Libingan is a privilege, not a right.  There are overriding criteria that constitute the basis for denial.  The atrocities committed during the Marcos martial law regime would negate that one criterion which some people say justifies a hero’s burial for Marcos at the Libingan. To that end, I must say, “You can make a villain out of a hero but you cannot make a hero out of a villain.”  And to many Filipinos, Marcos was a villain, not a hero.

With all the mixed reactions to Binay’s controversial recommendation, Binay stood tall and looked good.  It was his shining moment.  He proved that even with virtually no political backing, it did not deter him from making a bold “presidential” decision.  He bit the bullet and was prepared to take the flak from anybody.  That’s the price of leadership.


17 Responses. Have your say.

  1. DRCDC says:

    Very simple. He is not a hero. No military full honors. Noynoy is a President with unbalance leadership. His father was assasinated by someone he knew who was the leader behind it. He could have made himself the decision , not washing his filthy hand and gave the responsibility to the VP – one who is called by many as a traitor.

  2. Fernando Habito says:

    Binay’s solution in regards to Marcos burial reflects his typical “balimbing” character.It also shows that with regards to distinguishing a “hero” and a “corrupt leader” he is shallow minded and short sighted to become the next President of the Philippines who can eradicate corruptions.Electorates in the Philippines should know by now what kind of leader that they
    are going to elect in the next presidential election..!

  3. Ike says:

    Marcos and the Filipinos can not have it both ways. His being a hero has a lot of questions nad big question marks, including fake medals and made up heroic war adventures. But there is no equivocation on what he did to the country where people lost freedoms, lives, properties, future and a collective worth of the Filipino people during the Marcos plundering years. Keep him in the freezer box in Ilocos, let Imelda and her children and those who believe he was hero create a monument for him as big as they want. But don’t desecrate the lives of real heroes in Libingan.

  4. Rob Ceralvo says:

    If, from the very start, PNoy confronted the situation, there will be no problem like this. He could from the very start say, ‘Look, my father was killed in 1983, when Marcos was the absolute dictator. Who do you think ordered the murder of my father?

    Please, spare me.

    The truth will set everyone free! And the people will understand.

  5. PHILIP says:

    This issue of Marcos’ burial is really the tip of an iceberg that will prove to be a burden for the Phl for the next five years. The people have elected a President who is not worthy to lead. He is a wishy-washy spineless weakling who is prone to indecisiveness in making simple decisions. Notice how he deals with personnel problems in his administration. On this burial issue that he allowed to pester, anybody but him would have given a resounding NO when it was first brought up. Her mother had more cojones than him when she herself made that decision. I now believe the rumors, he is not MAN-LY enough!

  6. LARRY G. DEL MUNDO says:


  7. Mac Flores, Jr. says:

    Mahirap po bang tanggapin ng Anti-Marcos na siya ay malibing sa Ilocos as ordinary soldier with military honors?


    Mahirap po bang tanggapin ng Pro-Marcos na siya ay hindi Hero at hindi nararapat malibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani?

    These questions comes from any ordinary person who is not so much interested in the burial issue of the late president. Anyway, the pros and cons have been deliberated already. I think the time has come to put the issue to rest.

    Let’s move on as a nation. No offense to anyone, I respect anyone’s opinion.

  8. UC2 says:

    Hanggang ngayon kahit patay na si Marcos dinidictahan pa si Pinas kung anong gagawin?
    Kaya seguro nilagay sa freezer si Macoy para patuloy ang dictatorship administration niya.
    Yan ang “Divine Plan” na sinasabi ng mrs nya sinusundan nila para mapatuloy ang kanilang ligaya.
    Yung daming pera na ninakaw ng kanilang “hero” ay ginawang pambili ng pagka-in sa mga pobre botantes para dadami pa ang mga pobreng boboto sa kanila tuwing election.

    How can Pinas move on and prosper when the country is held hostage by the frozen “hero” in Batac, Ilocos Norte this past twenty years?

    “”Marcos has broken the Circle of Decency and Justice in the country. And his family wants to keep it broken so they can continue enjoying the resources of the country to the hilt. They want to keep more of the people poor because a hungry people will always keep them in power in order to have food on their table.
    The only chance the poor people will get back “The Circle As Before” is for China to send a special delivery “Balikbayan Box” wrapped in “Smile Diplomacy” containing the A-Bomb with a self-timer set by the Spratlys.”

    ” ‘Tis the land of dreams
    Created by Light
    Circle ‘round it beams
    Protector of the right

    Circle was broken
    Creatures would implore
    To see the oaken
    Circle as before”

    “That is a portion of the preface in the pocketbook “The Circle As Before” written by a twelve-year (12) old girl when she was still ten (10) years old. You bet, I could not believe it myself. But you can read some portions/reviews of it at Amazon.com, a marketer, or Lulu.com the publisher in their respective sites: “”

  9. Romeo Sirate says:

    Why were they allowed to return to the country in the first place? When they were ousted they should have been stripped of their citizenship and everything else, now they are back flaunting their ill-gotten wealth which they claimed they did’nt have, and the worst part was allowing them to run for political office and winning. Are the Filipino people really that naive or just plain ignorant that they cannot see that his son has his eye on the presidency?

  10. Stan Gamolo says:

    Hi Perry,

    There is a saying that the buck stops here! – at the President’s office. Why does the President in the Philippines passed the buck to his Vice President? The recommendation is already made by the VP and pass to P-noy for his “the buck stops here” decision. The President should be firm in making his final decision one way or the other. According to the dictionary, one definition of a hero is “any man admired for his qualities, achievements, nobility or exploits especially in war”. Look what he did to the Pilipino people. Look what he did to the country. Look how exaggerated his war medals. The President should think over and over when making his once and for all, final decision. Good luck Mr. President. May God bless you.

  11. tina berenguer peralta says:

    President Aquino, unlike King Solomon, is a spineless, weak-willed and confused “leader” who cannot even know how to proceed on such a simple decision as :

    a) where to bury the man who was the unchallenged dictator of the Filipino nation when Ninoy Aquino was assassinated,

    b) how to bury a “hero” who did not fight a foreign enemy but rather waged war, oppressed and trampled on the human rights of his own people

    I thought ba, as our President, Noynoy is the Decider! Why is he passing the hot potato to his Second Decider?

    As for those other Filipinos who seem to have doddering memories, I would not be surprised that after they are finished puffing up and prettifying the dictator’s persona to convince the detractors that Marcos deserves a hero’s burial, we just might be looking forward to a second Filipino saint being beatified by the Vatican. Then we do not need to bury San Marcos anywhere because like in the old days we can use his remains as relics to be dispersed all around the country and the world for veneration.

    That ought to solve this conundrum for our Flip Flopper and make everyone happy, especially Madame.

  12. aurora pijuan says:

    and why didn’t Binay check this out?

    Raissa Robles blog: Marcoses broke promise to bury FM’s body at once in Ilocos – Fidel Ramos http://goo.gl/fb/GJKWk

  13. Mac Flores, Jr. says:


    I read the Blog.

    And if true, the 3rd condition could mean no more military honors.

    “Just bury the remains”, as if Mr. Ramos was saying

    That’s it.

  14. rhyssa says:

    bumabatikos kau kay Marcos, eh wala nman kaung nagawang maganda..tingnan nyo nga?. ung mga kakampi nagsipag yaman bigla,mataas ang meralco bill, edukasyon sa public schools walang pagbabago, lalo pang lumala, ngaun ung spratly islands probs….dada lang kau ng dada, wala nman kaung ginagawa…hahhaha…kawawang bayan……kaya di nyo masisisi ang nakara2ming mamayan na mahalin pa rin Marcos kc may nakita clang comparison( di nyo kc pinabuti eh, after ppl power)..hahahha/..that’s God’s will…

  15. SEAL TEAM 6 says:

    Hire a bunch of mercenaries to abduct his body in Ilocos, then bury him at sea, just like OBL.
    End of story.

  16. rashid says:

    I guess I love the idea of ST6. Oo nga naman, that’s the best solution; to hire hoodlums and get Marcos body in Ilocos and throw him at sea. What a novel idea! You should get a medal of honor, you know that?

  17. cheryl says:

    VP Binay ay mahusay at magaling na leader, gusto niya matapos at magkaroon ng mapaya at panibagong simula ang ating bansa. Marapat lamang natin pahintulutan na bigyan ng military honor si Pres. Marcos dahil siya ay sundalo at presidente, siya ay magaling at mahusay, naglingkod sa ating bayan. ang ating simbahan Katoliko naliligaw din itinuro sa kanila na magpatawad sila pa ang nangunguna sa pagpapalala ng sitwasyon. Ang pagpapalibing kay Pres. Marcos ay magkakaroon ng pagkakaisa ng ating bayan. Let give the man want he deserves. Buried him in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, I salute you, VP Binay, indeed you are a great leader, don’t listened to anyone calling you traitor. they just mad at you, hate you, but we love and support you all the way.

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