Gibo favors hero’s burial for Marcos
By Charlie Lagasca February 21, 2010 12:00 AM
The Philippine Star
TUGUEGARAO CITY , Philippines – Administration presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro affirmed his stand on extending a state-sponsored hero’s burial for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“I don’t see anything wrong extending President Marcos a hero’s burial and a place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He deserves such rites as a former soldier who fought for the country during the Second World War,” Teodoro told the crowd here during a campaign sortie Friday.
Teodoro spoke in Ilocano, stressing that unless Marcos has been proven guilty of the crimes he has been accused of, it is fitting that the former president should be accorded a state funeral to heal an already politically divided nation.
“He has never been convicted by any competent court. Under the law he is still presumed innocent of all the accusations hurled against him, therefore it is just right to have him buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani being a (war veteran),” Teodoro said.
Teodoro, along with three of the administration’s senatorial bets – former Cabinet secretary Silvestre Bello III, lawyer Raul Lambino and broadcaster Rey Langit – toured several towns in Isabela before speaking to a large crowd here late Friday.
“We should bring this issue to closure for the eventual healing of the nation. We should accord him (Marcos) the honors as a war veteran and not necessarily as a former president,” Teodoro said.
The issue of state-accorded hero’s burial for Marcos perceived by a majority of Ilocanos as the country’s greatest president ever, has hounded each newly elected Philippine president since Fidel Ramos, Marcos’ top lieutenant and distant cousin.
Marcos’ widow, former first lady Imelda Marcos, has been seeking a state burial for her husband, whose remains still lie in an air-conditioned crypt in Batac, Ilocos Norte, the late president’s hometown.
Then President Joseph Estrada attempted to extend a hero’s burial for Marcos but withdrew amid protests by anti-Marcos groups, including the Aquinos.
Teodoro’s cousin and presidential rival, Sen. Benigno Aquino III of the Liberal Party (LP), said he is amenable to form a commission to study the issue of Marcos’ remains being interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. – With Marvin Sy