4-day caravan kicks off in Ilocos Norte Friday to push for Marcos burial

LAOAG CITY — To drumbeat support for the burial of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, a group of loyalists from the so-called ‘Solid North’ will stage a four-day caravan beginning Friday from Paoay, Ilocos Norte to the Supreme Court.

Dubbed as ‘Kailian march’, organizers said this is another show of support urging the Supreme Court to favor the burial of Marcos body at the Libingan.

Kailian is an Ilocano word used to address or identify fellow members of a community, signifying something even deeper than a “fellow Ilocano.”

“Technically, using the word kailian implies being part of the same barangay or sitio, growing with and around each other, so it shows a much stronger and close-knit relationship among people than simply coming from the same province or speaking the same language,” explained June Arvin Gudoy of Batac City, Ilocos Norte, adding that the march “echoes our call for national unity and healing through finally burying our dead and moving on from a past that has divided the nation for decades.” Gudoy is also the head of the Communication and Media Office of the Ilocos Norte provincial government under the administration of Governor Imee Marcos.

“I grew up with the mentality that he (Marcos) was the greatest president of all time except for President Duterte who is showing some signs like him,” said Arnulfo Morales Jr. who is joining the caravan.

Morales said most of those who joining the caravan are second-generation loyalists which means they appreciate what the Marcos presidency had accomplished during his 20-year rule.

Before hundreds of Marcos supporters will trek to Metro Manila, the group will be attending a unity mass at the UNESCO world heritage site of Saint Augustine Church in Paoay.

By noontime, Marcos supporters will begin traveling to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, and hold a similar vigil and candle-lighting together with other pro-Marcos citizens from the area.

They are set to arrive in San Fernando City, La Union by tonight, passing by the Tomb of the Unknown Solder the next morning (Saturday) to honor the soldiers and guerillas who fought against the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II (WWII).

The former president himself was a WWII veteran, having been part of the 14th Infantry Battalion and being recorded as a guerilla under both the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), for the Bataan Death March of 1942, as well as the United States Army Forces in the Philippines – Northern Luzon (USAFP-NL).

After San Fernando, they will proceed to Pangasinan, and then to Tarlac. Unity masses will be held in each location, with more loyalists joining the band of supporters as they move towards the National Capital Region (NCR).

On Sunday, they will travel through the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan, again being joined by fellow supporters from the region.

They will be in Metro Manila by October 17 for a final unity mass and prayer vigil in front of the Supreme Court (SC), where Marcos loyalists have been regularly assembling in peaceful rallies since August 31, to call for the former president and war veteran’s burial at the LNMB.

Last October 6, Marcos supporters were able to submit a total of 1,158,606 signatures in a petition to the SC in favor of the burial.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos will also be joining the group on Monday morning.

The SC is expected to release its final decision on the Marcos burial on October 18, Tuesday. PNA-northboundasia.com