MANILA (Mabuhay) – Even as Malacañang has stood by its decision not to allow the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, administration ally Sen. Francis Escudero believes now is the time to heal the wounds of the past.
“Siguro panahon na para maghilom ang sugat na yun. Siguro panahon na para tuldukan natin ang ilang mga bukas pang sugat sa ating kasaysayan para mas mabilis yung pag-move forward natin,” Escudero told Senate reporters Monday.
Though he respects President Aquino’s decision disallowing the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Escudero said there are things that should be put to an end.
“Desisyon niya (Aquino) yun, pero sa ganang akin (nararapat ito) para matuldukan na natin… yung 40-year rebellion nga sa Mindanao matutuldukan na, apatnapung taon na yun. Ito magtatatlumpung taon na,” he said.
In 2011, Escudero’s late father, Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, led a signing of a House resolution allowing the state burial of Marcos. At the time, a total of 193 lawmakers signed the resolution. The elder Escudero once served as Marcos’ agriculture minister.
That same year, militant solons countered the elder Escudero’s resolution, filing their own measure opposing the hero’s burial for Marcos.
In rejecting the idea of a hero’s burial for Marcos, President Aquino stressed that a state burial would be the height of injustice to Martial Law victims.
At the time, Aquino maintained that any state burial for Marcos will not happen under his watch.
Aquino then asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to study the issue.
Binay recommended the burial of the former strongman with military honors in his hometown in Ilocos.
An report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer published Monday quoted presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda as saying that Aquino never discussed to them the Marcos’ burial which means that the President’s stand on the matter has not changed.
Those allowed to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani are military personnel who died in line of duty or were honorably discharged, Filipino veterans, former presidents, government dignitaries, statesmen, and national artists.
The younger Escudero said there is debate that Marcos was a soldier and a head of state.
“Wala namang debate na naging head of state sya. Wala namang debate na sundalo siya. If only because of those two facts, siguro marapat na bigyan natin siya ng karampatang paglilibing dahil anuman ang reklamo, ano man ang diumano ay ginawa o hindi niya ginawa bilang pangulo, o ginawa o hindi ginawa bilang sundalo, nanatili pa ring tutuong naging head of state siya at naging dating sundalo siya,” Escudero said.
The Marcos family and their supporters have been asking the government to allow the state burial for Marcos.
The political rivalry between the Aquinos and the Marcoses has gone a long way.
Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the President’s father, belonged to the opposition during Marcos’ term.
Ninoy was assassinated at the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983. The airport was later renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in his honor.
Marcos was ousted in a bloodless revolt that catapulted Ninoy’s wife, the late mother Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, to the presidency in 1986.
Marcos died in Hawaii in 1989. His remains were brought to his northern Philippine hometown in Batac in Ilocos Norte in 1993. (MNS)