Please, no more study groups, Mr. PresidentIt is within the rights of President Aquino to deny the desire of the Marcos family for a state burial for President Ferdinand Marcos.
If Aquino thinks that Marcos’ dictatorship nullified the latter’s two-term presidency and disqualified him for a state burial, he is entitled to that opinion.
Since Aquino is the president now, his decision will be followed in political matters, which the Marcos burial issue, has become.
At the forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines last Wednesday, Aquino announced his decision to ignore the recommendation of Vice President Binay whom he had tasked to study the issue that his three predecessors – Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Arroyo, did not want to handle.
Aquino cited the many victims of Marcos’ martial law that includes his father, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
“It would be really, I think, the height of injustice to render any honors to the person who was the direct mastermind of all their suffering,” he said.
Aquino’ sentiments are understandable.
But why, in the first place, did he ask Binay to study the matter? The vice-president even conducted a survey which elicited 3,115 replies (2,139 through text and 976 through email.)
Joey Salgado, the vice president’s spokesperson, said they did not tabulate the responses because “they wanted to know the basis for their respective positions.”
Did Binay sense even then the President’s sentiment and wanted to give him a way out?
Nevertheless, Binay came out with the recommendation last June to have the remains of Marcos which has been kept in a refrigerated crypt in his hometown in Batac, Ilocos Norte since it was brought home in 1993. Marcos died in 1989 while in exile in Hawaii.
The Marcos family was amenable to Binay’s recommendation.
That’s why, it is also understandable that Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr would be dismayed with Aquino’s decision.
“Nagtataka ako bakit pa tayo pinag-aksaya ng panahon kung di naman talaga susundin yung mga rekomendasyon, mga study. Mukhang sarswela lang pala lahat ‘tong ating ginawa. It turns out it was a futile exercise,” Marcos said.
Nagtataka din ako.
Of course, this is not the first time that Aquino ordered a study or an investigation but ignored the recommendation. Remember the recommendation of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee headed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima that recommended filing of criminal and administrative charges against officials who bungled the Aug. 23, 2010 Rizal Park hostage-taking incident?
When he didn’t like the IIRC recommendations because it called for heavy sanctions against his shooting buddy, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno, his favorite police chief Jesus Verzosa, and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, a close friend of his family, he created another review committee. In the end, none of the negligent decision-makers were punished.
Next time, another sensitive issue comes up, please Mr. President, don’t create study or investigating groups. Just decide on it. No waste of government resources.
Huwag na tayo maglokohan.
Social Weather Stations conducted last March a survey on whether Marcos is worthy of a burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The result: 50 percent said “Yes”, 49 per cent said “No” and one per cent had no answer.