Standing on the belief that the burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos (FEM) will bring unity and healing to the country, a manifestation was filed on September 27, 2016 in response to the call against continuing the burial of FEM at the LibinganngmgaBayani (LNMB).
The manifestation was filed by Atty. Hyacinth Rafael-Antonio, the lawyer of the Marcos family, as directed by Supreme Court (SC) Justice Alfredo Caguioa.
Justice Caguiao asked the Marcos family to drop the planned burial of FEM at LNMB during the second round of oral arguments on September 7, 2016, saying, “if it is possible for the Marcos family to actually withdraw their petition in the face of all the pain and anguish expressed during the last hearing, as a sign of healing.”
In the filed manifestation, Atty. Rafael-Antonio maintained that FEM’s burial at LNMB is in accordance with, and implements the law “and because of this the family does not wish to abandon this undertaking.”
The burial of FEM at LNMB has been politically dividing the country for twenty-seven years now until President Rodrigo R. Duterte backed the plan as a fulfillment of his campaign promise, highlighting national unity and healing.
Moreover, Atty. Rafael-Antonio pointed out that it is not only the Marcos family that is awaiting the burial of FEM at the LNMB, citing the letter of Suzette P. Pido, daughter of the late Colonel Ildefonso A. Perez who was incarcerated together with FEM in Capas, Tarlac during World War II.
Despite being a war veteran and a soldier, Colonel Perez made it a part of his last will and testament not to be buried at LNMB until FEM “was allowed to be similarly interred within its hallowed grounds.”
In her letter, Pido noted that her clan honors a “blood debt to Ferdinand Marcos” as her father personally witnessed the heroism and generosity of FEM who was then recognized as the “leader of men” during the war years.
Pido recounted in her letter the story told by her father when “he met a certain Lt. Ferdinand Marcos.”
“When this Lt. Marcos found out that my father’s brother, Sid was at death’s door, he unhesitatingly gave my dad a bottle of intravenous fluid (IV) that had been smuggled into the camp by his mother Josefa Marcos, for her son’s own use in case he, himself got sick,” she wrote.
“While handing over the IV bottle…to a person he hardly knew, Lt. Marcos said ‘Your brother needs this more than me,’” she added.
Pido’s Uncle Sid “recovered, prospered and lived to a ripe old age” and it is in this light that she sets aside her own political beliefs despite being an anti-Marcos advocate to fulfill her father’s dying wish.
Despite the negative reports about Martial Law, Pido noted that his father “wanted us, his family, to recognize the fact that despite all that has been said about the man, for one instance in his life, Ferdinand Marcos was truly a hero.”
Atty. Rafael-Antonio also noted that the Marcos loyalists showed their support for the burial of FEM at LNMB by peacefully demonstrating outside SC during the oral arguments, enduring the sweltering heat and intermittent rain.
The manifestation also argued that “though many of the loyalists are simple folk who are not as eloquent and vocal as the petitioners, these Marcos loyalists and supporters are also citizens of our country whose yearning and convictions must equally be addressed for national healing and unity to become a reality.”
Meanwhile, Marcos loyalist groups across the country had been actively conducting a signature campaign in support of FEM’s burial at LNMB with over 500k signatures collected since yesterday, September 25, 2016.###