Libingan ng mga Bayani not for tyrants | Inquirer Opinion

Libingan ng mga Bayani not for tyrants

/ 12:02 AM October 18, 2016

More than five years ago, a former member of the Cabinet of deposed dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos made a proposal—that Marcos be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The proposal was vehemently opposed by freedom-loving and right-thinking Filipinos (See “Proposed Marcos burial promoted disunity,” Letters, 5/9/11).

Their objection was—and still is—anchored on solid and valid grounds.

The Libingan is dedicated to deserving, authentic heroes who could serve as role models and exemplars to the young of this generation and those still unborn. It was conceived and envisioned as a final resting place for martyrs and heroes, to perpetuate the memory of those who clearly have shown unwavering courage, patriotism, nationalism, integrity, probity and dedication to the common good.

Never was it earmarked for corrupt rulers, tyrants and dictators; nor for abusive and cruel officials who ordered and caused the imprisonment, torture and the summary execution of political dissenters and of advocates and defenders of human rights; principled and progressive leaders of labor movements, student and youth organizations, teacher associations, religious groups, urban poor militants and other professional groups; who padlocked Congress, plundered the nation’s wealth and issued orders and proclamations curtailing the people’s rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.


No, we should not allow the Libingan to be desecrated with the remains of a homegrown despot.

The Marcos family, relatives, cronies and loyalists claim he was not only a former president but also a soldier who was recognized, as shown by the medals, awards and citations he received for valor and gallantry during World War II. But this claim was convincingly debunked by truth-seeking Filipinos. Then Rep. Bonifacio H. Gillego, a former military officer turned legislator, presented documents, photographs and testimonies that proved beyond reasonable doubt that Marcos was a fake hero.

Despite the exposé, Marcos’ family and supporters still insist that he be buried in the Libingan. Have they forgotten that the Filipinos themselves repudiated, ousted and drove away Marcos through the peaceful and successful People Power Revolution?

Burial in the Libingan will not erase his sins and abuses against the Filipino people. For all we know, the opposite could happen. The backlash of opinions against a Marcos burial in the cemetery of heroes could all the more bury him in ignominy.


Let it be emphasized: Two of the most beloved Philippine presidents—Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay and Corazon Cojuangco Aquino—are not buried in the Libingan, but that has not diminished the love, respect and accolade of the people for these two great leaders.

Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., who led the fight for the restoration of freedom and democracy in our country, is not buried in the Libingan, but such does not lessen his stature as a hero and martyr.


So, the “Marcos pa rin!” adherents should stop insisting for a hero’s burial for their idol. Let them bury Marcos in the most expensive and most beautiful memorial park in Ilocos or elsewhere in the Philippines. But never in the hallowed grounds of the Libingan ng mga Bayani! Ibaon na nila sa limot ang wala sa lugar na hangarin nila!

EUSEBIO S. SAN DIEGO, founder, Kaguro and former president, QCPSTA, [email protected]

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TAGS: burial, letter, Letter to the Editor, Libingan ng mga Bayani, marcos, opinion

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