Aquino to consider Ramos’ views on Marcos burial

06/14/2011 - PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III will be considering the opinion of former President Fidel Ramos regarding the disputed burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The President is taking a long time to decide on the matter because he is studying all sides of the issue including Ramos’ view, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

Earlier, Ramos revealed that the Marcos family failed to fulfill one of the three preconditions he had set in exchange for bringing the late strongman’s remains back to the Philippines from Hawaii where he died after being exiled.

The three preconditions include “direct transport of the body to Ilocos without passing Manila; military honors for an army major; and the immediate burial of the body”.

Ramos said the first two preconditions were met but the last was not fulfilled since Marcos was never been buried.

“We will certainly inform the President about former President Ramos’ statement so that he could include it in his assessment,” Lacierda said.

“The statement of former President Ramos will be part of the deliberative process of the President on the issue,” he added.

Aside from Ramos’s view, the Palace official said President Aquino is also considering the sentiments of the human rights victims during Marcos time.

"There have been other people who have also mentioned their sentiments on that matter so the president is looking at all the angles on this Marcos burial…Sentiments have also been raised by human rights victims through intermediaries," Lacierda said.

He said he is not aware of any communication between the Marcos family and the President regarding the matter.

Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos was spotted in Malacanang last Sunday attending the Independence Day vin d' honneur but Lacierda refused to comment whether the former First Lady was able to talk to Aquino.

He meanwhile noted that the preference of the Marcos family regarding the burial has already reached Malacanang. As a result, further consultation with them is no longer necessary.

The Marcos family earlier supported the recommendation of Vice President Jejomar Binay that late dictator be buried with full military honors in his hometown in Ilocos Norte.

Aquino inhibited himself from making a decision regarding the matter to avoid bias since his father Ninoy Aquino was a known political rival of the late dictator.

Binay submitted his recommendation to the President two weeks ago, but Aquino has yet to decide whether to fully adopt the proposal.

The proposal for Marcos burial at the heroes cemetery was revived after the late Defense Secretary and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes was buried there after committing suicide in February after it was reported that he received P50 million in "send-off" money.

Various sectors in the country ever since have differing opinions regarding the late dictator’s burial.

Since 1993, Marcos’s remains still lies inside a glass box in an air-conditioned crypt in the family's ancestral home in Batac, Ilocos Norte Province. (Sun Star)

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