President Aquino remains opposed to a hero’s burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos following his dictatorial rule marked by violence and rights abuses.
Amid reports the country’s next president is amenable to the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. maintained that the President’s position on the matter has not changed but assured the Palace respects the view of Duterte.
“I am not aware of any change in his position (on Marcos burial),” Coloma said in a text message to reporters. “We respect his views and beliefs.”
Duterte, the country’s incoming president, earlier said Marcos deserves to be laid to rest at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City “not because he was a hero but he was a Filipino soldier.” He said the burial could be “arranged immediately,” adding that the issue which long divided the nation would help foster healing.
Duterte, who is set to assume power on June 30, said he was ready to face any protests over his decision on the Marcos burial.
Coloma earlier explained that Aquino’s decision against a hero’s burial for Marcos is “based on his firm belief and conviction on the primacy of justice. He said Marcos never apologized for the violence and oppression that characterized martial law and the dictatorship.
If the next President does not believe in the guiding principles upon which President Aquino decided not to allow the hero’s burial, Coloma said he would have to justify that decision to the people.
Back in 2011, the President said it would be the “height of injustice” to render state honors to Marcos who made the Filipino people suffer during the martial law period.