DAVAO CITY — Consensus of the people through referendum is no longer needed to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
This was clarified by President Rodrigo Duterte in a press conference at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on Thursday night.
“I will have to spend so many billions, because it would like be an electoral process to get the sentiments of every Filipino,” Duterte said.
He added that there is no need to spend billions of pesos just to decide the matter of a burial of a president.
“The law says … it does not even mention of heroes. It simply says that if you are a soldier, and in another section of the law that says of presidents. So that’s the law,” the President stressed.
He said that previous administrations should have passed a law prohibiting the burial of Marcos to the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The law is clear, Mr. Duterte said, that a soldier and a president can be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“Nobody is questioning about his being a hero. I am not dwelling on his exploits. Sabi nila wala daw sa (I was told there is none in the) congressional records (in the United States). But until when shall we depend on the records of another country to choose who will be buried there,” he pointed out.
The President added that he would rather follow what the law says than what others are saying about Marcos’ records in the United States.
“He has no medals recorded in the United States? Correct, I will admit that and I will assume it to be true. But why should I be dependent on the records of the United States? I am not a state (citizen) of the United States,” he added.
The President said the Philippines has long ceased to be the vassal state of the United States – emphasizing “Tapos na yan (That’s finish), its history.”
The President’s decision to bury former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was highly criticized by other sectors particularly those who question the former president’s claims of heroism and war medals.
“Forget about the medals. Just focus on whether he is a Filipino who fought for his country and is once upon a time the president. That’s the law,” President Duterte said. Alex Lopez/PNA/northboundasia.com