he Philippines' octogenarian ex-president, Fidel V. Ramos seems to
have spilled the beans on whether another former president/dictator,
Ferdinand Marcos should be allowed to be buried at the Libingan ng mga
Bayani (heroes cemetery) in Fort Bonifacio.
Ramos recalled that he was president in 1992 when members of the
Marcos family negotiated with the Philippine government to allow the
remains of the late dictator, who had passed away in September, 1989, to
be flown back to the Philippines for burial. Ramos further noted that
with the abuses of Martial Law still fresh in the minds of Filipinos at
the time, his government agreed to the repatriation of the Marcos
remains as long as the Marcos clan agreed to four binding conditions:
First—that the dictator's remains be flown straight from Hawaii to his
hometown of Paoay, Ilocos Norte; Second—that Marcos be allowed military
honors befitting a soldier with a rank of Major, which was the highest
rank he had officially attained; Third—that the Marcos remains not
be paraded in Metro Manila; And fourth, that Marcos be buried in Ilocos
According to Ramos, "those were the conditions we signed ... I think
the agreement is still in the archives of Malacañang. So if you wish to
get a copy of the agreement that was signed between me and Former
Congressman Roquito Ablan Jr., please go ahead and secure a copy from
Malacañang, " he added.
If that is indeed the case, aren't the Marcos heirs obligated to keep
their side of the bargain? It is almost inconceivable that the Marcoses
were unaware of this agreement. After all, it was because of it that the
Marcos remains were allowed to be repatriated in 1992. The fact that it
was not made public has given the Marcoses an opening to pull a fast one
over the Filipino people and get their infamous patriarch buried at the
Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The agreement between the government and the Marcos family, signed by
Ramos and Ablan twenty-four years ago is still legally binding today.
Detractors of the late strongman however, point to his penchant for
bending the rules, and stretching the truth whenever it would be to his
benefit. Now it appears that the other members of the Marcos clan are
just as wily and duplicitous. Despite a signed agreement that forbids
it, the clan has been pushing for a Marcos burial in the hallowed
grounds of the Libingan cemetery.
Now, it should just be a simple matter for Malacañang staff members
to unearth that 1992 agreement and put an end to the Marcos clan's plan.
But let's not forget, this is the Philippines, where documents—even
people—can magically vanish into this air. Marcos spokespeople might say
that the agreement exists only in the mind of an 88-year-old
ex-president who might be in the early stages of senility. Then, Marcos spinmeisters
will come crawling out of the woodwork to completely
obfuscate the truth so that "Juan dela Cruz" would be unable to
even tell which side is up, and which side is down. Welcome to the
country the Marcoses continue to destroy. Published 8/16/2016