MANILA – Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV remains hopeful that President Rodrigo Duterte will reconsider his decision to allow the burial of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
”We are very hopeful that in the next couple of weeks the President will change his mind,” Aquino said in a media interview.
Aquino is the nephew of former Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr., Marcos’ top critic who was assassinated upon his arrival at the Manila International Airport from a three-year self-imposed exile in the United States on Aug. 21, 1983.
The lawmaker said 70,000 people were imprisoned, 30,000 were tortured and almost 3,000 died during martial law under Marcos’ regime.
”Perhaps that’s enough that he is not fit to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Aquino said.
Aquino said many of his colleagues, including President Duterte’s partymate Senate President Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III and his running mate Alan Peter Cayetano, opposed hero’s burial for former dictator.
Meanwhile, neophyte Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed Senate Resolution No. 86 expressing the sense of the Senate that the crimes of Marcos to the country and the human rights violations committed under his regime, render him unfit to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
”Allowing the former President to be buried at the Libingan will only cause further divisiveness, and will reopen old wounds, especially as the country is also in the process of providing reparations to martial law victims,” Hontiveros said.
President Duterte explained that Marcos, as a former soldier and former President, deserved to be buried at the hero’s cemetery.
The Marcos family set Marcos burial on Sept. 18. Jelly Musico/PNA/northboundasia.com