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Aquino rejects FM hero’s burial, pardon to Arroyo

Despite a promise to give president-elect Rodrigo Duterte a yearlong honeymoon period, President Aquino is not amenable to his successor’s plans to give a hero’s burial for former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and grant pardon to detained former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria M. Arroyo.

The President argued that Marcos does not deserve to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani while Arroyo ought to face the pending corruption charges in court.

“Kaisang-isang libingan na distinctive na talagang parang honor na ipinagkakaloob sa mga taong talagang may ginawa para sa lipunan,” Aquino said in an interview with “24 Oras” last Wednesday night about the proposed hero’s burial of Marcos.

“Kung may pluses siya, paano naman minuses? Ano ba sinasabi pag nilibing doon? Na may blinders tayo? Yung plus na lang papansinin natin? Kawawa naman ’yung mga talagang idinakila na inilibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani,” he added.

On Duterte’s belief Arroyo should be set free due to weak cases against her, the President said they are standing firmly behind the cases filed against the former leader by the Department of Justice. “We believe the evidence is strong,” Aquino added.

Duterte recently announced that he would allow the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because he was once a soldier and not because he was a hero. Duterte said he hopes Marcos burial would pave the way for national healing after years of division on the issue.

Marcos, who was accused of massive corruption and Martial Law abuses, was ousted from office via the 1986 EDSA People Power revolution. He and his family fled to United States where the leader died three years later.

Marcos’ embalmed body is currently preserved in a crypt at the family home in Batac City, Ilocos Norte. His family, which has long sought for a hero’s burial for the former president, has welcomed Duterte’s gesture.
(Genalyn D. Kabiling)