MANILA — A planned filing of a temporary restraining order (TRO) will not be a hindrance to push for the internment of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes Cemetery) in Taguig City, a Palace official said.
”It’s a democratic country. Everyone is entitled to file petition in court,” Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told journalists at Malacanang Tuesday.
Panelo explained that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) allows soldiers to be interned at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the former President, who was a soldier, “is entitled to be buried there.”
Some sectors claim that Marcos had fake medals but Panelo said “regulation does not distinguish whether a solder has fake medal or none.”
”(The) fact is President Marcos was a soldier. He fought the Japanese (and) created a Maharlika group and we cannot dispute that. So as a soldier he is entitled to be buried at (the) Libingan (ng mga Bayani),” he said.
Panelo noted that President Rodrigo Duterte, during the campaign period, vowed to let the former Chief Executive be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“That is a promise and commitment he made as a candidate (and) considering that the voters overwhelmingly voted him as President necessity follows that he was given mandate to fulfill the promise to the Filipino people,” he said.
Asked whether the former president will be buried as a hero, Panelo said this particular word “is a relative term.”
”The word hero is a relative term. For others Mr. Marcos may be but to millions others he is a hero. It depends on the perception. As I said earlier, the regulation issued by AFP does not distinguish whether hero or not, good or bad. It said presidents are entitled to be buried there,” he added
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a memorandum to AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya dated August 7, 2016, ordered the implementation of necessary planning and preparations “specially the provisions for ceremonial and security requirements.”
He identified the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVOA) as the head agency for this purpose. Joann Santiago/ PNA/ northboundasia.com