burying marcos

in the matter of the marcos burial, i don’t know na whom or what to believe.  did vp binay really recommend to the president that marcos be buried in ilocos with full military honors?

philstar‘s marichu villanueva is all the way in las vegas but her inside info on the reported binay proposal gives me pause.

If we are to believe reports from Manila, Binay allegedly recommended to P-Noy that Marcos’ remains be interred in his hometown in Batac, Ilocos Norte. There, Marcos will be given instead full military honors for his service as a soldier during World War II despite questions on the medals awarded to him for bravery and heroism.

…Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado immediately issued an official disclaimer on the contents of the OVP report. Salgado noted that talks on a possible military burial for Marcos originated from the Palace and not from Binay, and neither from any OVP officials involved in the study.

can’t wait to hear from the vp himself what’s what.  can’t wait for some investigative journalist to find out exactly what’s going on.   if the military burial is a palace idea, bakit hindi aminin?  just testing the waters?  makes me think that the unnamed sources are actually from the three-headed hydra.  hello?  hello?  hello?  and what does that say about the president’s “bias” against an honorable burial for marcos?  that it’s not non-negotiable pala?  he’s willing to be overruled kuno?  ano ba yan.  ito man lang, di niya kayang panindigan?

needless to say i agree with senator rene saguisag who was on strictly politics the other night and who is vehemently against a burial for the dictator with any kind of honors.  marcos may have done some good during his long unconstitutional reign but he did a lot more bad.  and for pro-marcos forces to continue to try and re-write martial law and EDSA history and whitewash the marcos image in aid of son bongbong’s presidential ambitions (he should stop denying it dahil obvious naman) is just an insult, plain and simple, to the intelligence of straight thinking filipinos.

which brings me to peter wallace, the australian businessman who has a column in the manila standard, whose take on the marcos burial drew a critical rejoinder from no less than senate president juan ponce enrile.

this is what wallace wrote, may 27:

As to Ferdinand Marcos, I cannot for the life of me understand why there’s any discussion at all about where to bury Marcos. The man was a despot, a mass murderer and torturer, a plunderer, a philanderer (Dovie Beams), and I don’t know what else. If he was a war hero, and recent evidence seems to strongly debunk this, it is completely negated by his subsequent actions.

President Aquino, if he’s truly the moral, honest man he claims (and I certainly believe is) has a no-brainer here. You don’t pass it to anyone else to decide. It’s a simple presidential decision: NO.

googled but couldn’t find enrile’s response — apparently sent to manila standard — except as tweeted by bongbong chum bong daza, and quoted/cited by fellow standard columnist emil jurado on may 31:

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, reacting to the comments of Wallace, said:

“President Marcos is dead. He cannot defend himself against scurrilous attacks against him. I have not known him to have sent people to a Siberian concentration camp like Stalin, or to extermination camps such as Auschwitz like Hitler, or to killing fields like Pol Pot, or to mass graves like Saddam Hussein.

“And so, as one who served in his regime for many years and as his secretary, later minister of national defense for almost 16 years, I would like to seek Wallace’s clarification about what he said about Marcos being a mass murderer and torturer.”

…I respect Wallace’s opinion on the issue, but I agree with Enrile who said “I hope Wallace will agree with me that we have to be fair to President Marcos no matter what our individual opinion might be. We also have to be fair to his readers.”

so far wallace hasn’t responded, as jurado points out, rather happily? in yesterday’s column.  na-intimidate kaya?  o ayaw lang pumatol?

but because silence would give pro-marcos forces the impression that the senate prez is right, let me pitch in my two cents.

take note that enrile challenges only the part about marcos being a “mass murderer and torturer.”  so the despot, plunderer, philanderer, dubious war hero accusations stand, and do not need substantiating here.  as for the murder and torture, they were not  on the same scale as those perpetrated by stalin, hitler, the khmer rouge, and hussein but they were nonetheless criminally condemnably iniquitous.

i happen to have access to the  historian alfred w. mccoy‘s latest book on the philippines: POLICING AMERICA’S EMPIRE: The United States, The Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (2009) yet unavailable in our bookstores.  in the chapter “Martial Law Terror” subheading “State Terror” page 403, he writes:

Initially, Marcos’s military had relied on the legal formalities of arrest and detention to suppress dissent. In issuing Proclamation 1081 to declare martial law in September 1972, Marcos had invoked Article VII of the 1935 Constitution providing that the president “in case of invasion, insurrection, or rebellion . . . may suspend the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus, or place the Philippines . . . under martial law.” In his next paragraph Marcos issued a sweeping order that all suspects arrested from crimes against public order “be kept under detention until otherwise ordered released by me.” (1) In the weeks following this declaration, the regime rounded up some fifty thousand alleged subversives. Although the number of those officially detained fell to six thousand by May 1975, the police continued to make arrests without warrants. Armed with a blanket Arrest Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) or Presidential Commitment Order (PCO), they routinely confined suspects in extralegal “safe houses” for “tactical interrogations”. (2)

During the last years of Marcos’s rule, the police grew increasingly brutal, making torture and salvaging standard procedure against both poltiical dissidents and petty criminals. Recent graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) who joined the constabulary were socialized into a permissive ethos of torture, corruption, and impunity. With unchecked legal authority, limitless funds, and immersion in both psychological and physical torture, a cohort of privileged police commanders formed in the upper ranks of the elite PC anti-subversion squads, the Metrocom Intelligence Service Group (MISG) and Fifth Constabulary Security Unit (CSU). Over time martial law transformed the top police into an empowered elite engaged in systemic human rights abuses and syndicated gambling, drugs, or smuggling. Under Marcos military murder was the apex of a pyramid of terror with 3,257 killed, an estimated 35,000 tortured, and some 70,000 arrested. To subdue the population with terror, some 2,520 victims, an overwhelming 77 percent of Filipinos who died, were salvaged, that is, tortured and killed with the scarred remains dumped for display. (3)

mccoy goes into detail further on, but duties call.  maybe later…


(1) Joseph Ralston Hayden, The Philippines: A Study in National Development (New York, 1955) 833; Republic of the Philippines, Supreme Court, Martial Law and the New Society in the Philippines (Manila, 1977), 1878-79.

(2) Amnesty International, Report of an Amnesty International Mission to the Republic of the Philippines, 11-28 November 1981 (London, 1982), 1-9, 56-66.

(3) New York Times, 11/10/86; Richard J. Kessler, Rebellion and Repression in the Philippines (New Haven, 1989), 137. To reach the figure 3,527 killed under Marcos, Kessler’s enumeration for 1975-85 is supplemented by adding 93 more “extrajudicial killings” in 1984 from data in Rev. La Verne D. Mercado and Sr. Mariani Dimaranan’s Philippines: Testimonies on Human Rights Violations (Geneva, 1986), 89.


  1. Steve Salonga

    Just to keep perspective, one must keep close to the McCoy descriptions. First, because Mr. Enrile is not an objective observer but an active participant in the accusations, and therefore naturally inclined to a certain historical perspective on events. Second, a glorification of martial law, as has been perpetrated over the last 25 years primarily through our public schools must finally be ended. It is a case of mass hallucinations altering reality, it simply cannot happen. Perhaps in another planet. A simple and diplomatic no would really have been appropriate.

      • UP nn grad

        Pilipinas deserves to get the story straight.

        As F Sionil de Jose has said, Pilipinas needs a real honest-to-goodness TRUTH COMMISSION — the real kind that finds guilt committed during evil times of Pinoy-on-Pinoy salvaging, killings, illegal detention and torture.

        I agree with your comment when you made mention “….ito man lang, di niya kayang panindigan?”

    • …a glorification of martial law, as has been perpetrated over the last 25 years primarily through our public schools must finally be ended

      Martial law glorified in the last 25 years??? I thought it’s the other way around!

  2. and what about media. the facts are available to debunk all claims of sinlessness, and yet media handle the marcos spins as though these were credible and deserved broadcasting without context or argument.

  3. “Exec. Sec. Paquito Ochoa used to work in the legal firm with the wife of Bongbong Marcos which is why P-Noy is wavering on this issue when it should have been a no-brainer. All we want is for the President to do what he thinks is morally right about how Marcos should be buried, but please, don’t ever think of changing our history! You owe it to your parents!”– bobit s. avila http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?publicationSubCategoryId=64&articleId=694722

  4. rene saguisag: “Jojo’s reported recommendation to bury Macoy with military honors reverses the July 15, 2003 Supreme Court ruling that Macoy and Imelda are kleptocrats, forfeiting in favor of government billions of pesos stolen by William Saunders (Macoy) and Jane Ryan (Imelda) beginning in 1968. It nullifies the Seattle, Honolulu and Switzerland determinations of gross human rights violations and kleptocracy of the Marcoses.” http://www.manilatimes.net/opinion/%E2%80%98quo-usque-tandem-abutere-patientia-nostra%E2%80%99/

  5. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
    The evil that men do lives after them,
    The good is oft interred with their bones,
    So let it be with Caesar …

    Let us bury Marcos so we can be done with this irritant. Bury him fast so we can be save from the histrionics of the Marcoses. After all, does a burial place makes a man a hero? I don’t think so. They can bury Marcos in Libingan ng mga Bayani, in Manila Cathedral or even in Manila Memorial but he will never be my hero.

    And what so great about being buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani anyway? Do you honestly think that burying Marcos there would desecrate the place? It’s long been desecrated, so many who do not deserve to be buried are interred there already. Besides, you bury Marcos anywhere in the Philippines, you desecrate that place, with or without military honors.

  6. Our history will continue to be rewritten and revised because of new revelations, facts unknown before, secrets that unraveled, a refinement in perspective, etc. Marcos, a torturer and a murderer? For now, it is enough that he was President and he was in command and there were indeed thousands of torture and murder victims. But the historian of the future will sue for more definitive substantiation. A confession of a confidante perhaps writ on a diary, detailing Marcos’ secret directives, a death squad reporting to him, a list of targets itemized on a black book maybe… or Enrile in his deathbed ratting on Marcos. Marcos a plunderer? For now it is enough that he has secret bank accounts containing billions and billions of dollars around the world, or that he probably owns all the major companies in the Philippines and much much more. For how indeed could anyone own such an incredibly enormous amount of wealth kung hindi nga naman yan nagnakaw? But the historian of tomorrow will be baffled by a mystery: how could he have done so on such an unimaginable scale on a meager national budget, all while also undertaking the most ambitious infrastructure building program ever attempted in history.

    In any case, as MLQ3 says, our current history is yet to be written, and there is a colossal mountain of documents out there waiting to be sifted through. Let us trust the next generations of historians to sift through the rubble of information; let them be judge who is the hero and the heel.

    And yes, it’s not your burial place that tells of your heroism…

    • yes, but at what point do we say we have enough proof. meanwhile, the word “bayani” loses its meaning. hindi bale sana kung tayo-tayo lang but what about the kids. messed up na the sense of values we’ll be leaving behind.

  7. Angela, I am just curious. It’s a NO for Marcos and a silence for Angie Reyes. If we talk of values, we were taught that there is no such thing as white lies. There is only the truth and the lie. So where now is the sanctity of being buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani.

    Practicing double standard, I think will be more dangerous than messing up the meaning of “bayani”.

    • rene saguisag’s response to this very same question was: marcos was found guilty of kleptocracy by Supreme Court and human rights violations and kleptocracy n seattle, honolulu and swiss courts. reyes had yet to be proven guilty in any court of law.

      just the same i was also against reyes’s burial in libingan ng mga bayani.

      • I do not like Marcos for what he did to our country but from what I read Libingan ng mga Bayani was and I quote – a resting place for Filipino military personnel from privates to generals, as well as heroes and martyrs. There is nothing in my readings that says that to qualify for a burial, one must have a spotless resume.

        In closing, Even if bury our heroes, we should always remember that we are not burying saints,

  8. what did marcos do that the other presidents did not? let me count them: killings, graft and corruption, human rights violations, nepotism, cronyism, stealing the people’s tax money, others.

    politics will judge marcos.

    but the Filipino people is the better judge.