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Some senators yesterday welcomed presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of a burial for former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite the outrage expressed by martial law victims at the idea.
Re-elected Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said he believes it should not be a big deal for Marcos to be accorded a hero’s burial since the late strongman was a soldier who fought against the Japanese forces during the World War II.
“I agree with him (Duterte) that being a former soldier who fought in World War 2, the late president or anybody who at the very least had not been dishonorably discharged is entitled to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters.
Whatever crimes Marcos committed during the martial law is best left for history to decide, the senator said.
“Whatever wrong he did as President and commander in chief should be left to history to decide,” Lacson added.
Sought for comment, Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said he would respect the decision of the incoming President since he has the prerogative to decide as such.
“We will respect whatever the President decides,” Angara said.
Angara also said Duterte’s pronouncement is no longer surprising since it was one of his promises he made during the May election period.
“I think he made his positions on those hot issues clear during the campaign so really nothing new there,” he said.
Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto, for his part, said he is still uncertain whether to support Duterte’s move or not.
“I have no strong convictions for or against,” Sotto said.
Senator Ralph Recto also said he sees nothing wrong with a hero’s burial accorded to the former president: “(It’s) ok with me.”
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. hailed Duterte’s announcement and said he is thankful for the Davao City mayor for supporting his bid after years of battling critics opposing a hero’s burial for his father.
“We are deeply grateful to the statement of our incoming President Rodrigo Duterte favoring the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Marcos said in a statement.
“It has always been our family’s position that it is our father’s right under the law to be buried there being a soldier and a former President of this country,” he said.
“Our campaign has always been towards achieving unity to move the country forward. And it is this kind of pronouncement that we hope could end the decades of divisiveness that have been imposed upon us by our leaders. We would like to thank President Duterte for this kind, rightful and healing gesture,” he added.