FVR dismayed over secret burial of Marcos

MANILA — Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Monday expressed his disappointment over secret arrangement in the burial of the late ousted President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“I was disappointed,” Ramos said during a press conference at his office in Makati City three days after the former strongman was buried amidst protest from various sectors, who said Marcos was not fit to be buried at the cemetery reserved for heroes.

The Marcos family, led by former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, made the arrangement with military authorities to have her late husband buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City without announcing to the public.

Ramos said the sneaky burial was planned in secret by the Marcos family with connivance of some military and police officers whom he did not named.

During the press conference, Ramos showed to the media a Memorandum of Understanding dated Aug. 20, 1992 between the government, represented by former Interior and Local Government Secretary Rafael M. Aunan III, and the Marcos family represented by Mrs. Marcos.

At that time Ramos was the President of the Philippines following his election in May 1992.

In that agreement both sides “agreed that the remains of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos shall be allowed to be brought back to the Philippines from Hawaii, USA on 1 September 1992.”

It also states that the remains shall be brought directly to Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

“It shall be understood that once the aircraft enters the Philippine Area of responsibility, stopover for whawtever reason in any airport other than the airport of destination shall be allowed only upon prior clearance from the Philippine Government,” the agreement added.

Number 3 of the agreement states that the Marcos family “undertakes to fix a wake period of nine days beginning 1 September 1992 to allow friends, relatives and supporters to pay their courtesy , last respect and homage to the former President at the Marcos family home at Batac, Ilocos Norte.”

“It shall undertake further, to maintain peace and orderly wake and/or help and cooperate with local government authorities ensure that the same will not be used to foment and promote civil disorder,” the agreement said.

Both parties agreed that the government shall provide appropriate military honors during the wake and interment.

But recently the Marcos family brought the idea of burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he was a former president and soldier.

The case was brought to the Supreme Court and the High Tribunal voted last week 9 to 5 allowing Marcos to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery.

There was a move to file a reconsideration of the Supreme Court’s decision.

However, before the reconsideration was filed, the Marcos family decided to bury the former President at the Libingan ng mga Bayani without announcing to the public.

Marcos was buried at the heroes’ cemetery in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City last Friday that triggered protests from various sector across the country.

A big rally will be held this Friday against the burial of Marcos.

Before the burial last Friday, the remains of the former strongman were kept at the family mausoleum in Batac where foreign and local tourists went there to view the embalmed body of the late President. Ben Cal/PNA-northboundasia.com