It is not the burial place; it is the glory of death

It is not the burial place; it is the glory of death

Dyaryo Magdalo

“Let the dead bury their dead.” This passage is quoted from the Book of Luke, Chapter 9 of the New Testament.

But how can a dead man bury his corpse when he is already dead?

This simply means that a man or a woman has the right to choose his or her graveyard. (Note: Continue reading below the photo and caption)

After entering the premises, one is greeted by an immortal message: "I do not know the dignity of his birth but I do know the glory of his death."

So that he or she writes his or her last will and testament to command his or her heirs or executor or executrix to bury him or her in the particular place he or she desires.  And if he or she does, that is respected under the rule on succession in honor of the dead.

And if he or she willed it, let thy will be done.

Absent any hindrance on moral or divine or legal reasons, the will of the dead should be followed to the letter.

In the case of Marcos, there has been nothing on record that shows he left a will. 

And if he did not leave any last will and testament, then the first rule is the everlasting maxim that says: “Dust thou art to dust returnest.”

This rule may be subject to another rule: the will of his loved ones.

But all these rules can be followed only when no one is offended, that the State is not offended, and history as the teacher of the future is not offended.

After all, right ends where the rights of others begin.

In the case of the dictator who ruled the Philippines with iron hand from 1965 to 1986, can it be said that the wishes of his loved ones should be complied with or be allowed?

The dictator’s wife, Imelda, who now serves as the representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte, his daughter Imee who serves as the governor of Ilocos Norte, his other daughter Irene Marcos-Araneta who is a private person, and his son Ferdinand Jr. or “Bongbong” who serves as a senator are demanding from President Benigno Simeon “P-Noy” Aquino III to allow the former dictator to be buried at the heroes’ place.

This cry of the Marcoses began when the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani the dead body of former General Angelo T. Reyes, who died by shooting himself before the graveyard of Angie’s mother and father after having been investigated by the Senate on military corruption issues.

A confidante of P-Noy said that it was the military leadership that decided to bury Reyes there and the President was only caught unaware that when known it was too late to say “no.”

It is more than 22 years since former strongman Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. breathed his last on September 28, 1989. Until now, his earthly remains are still there for the viewing inside a freezer at his ancestral house in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

The process of maintaining freshness of the corpse is costly. But his loved ones felt no pain of money: they can afford it even in billions of dollars.

As had been reported, Marcos and his wife Imelda had moved billions of dollars of public funds to the United States, Switzerland, and other countries as well as into corporations of cronies during their 21 years in power.

It was further reported that when the Marcoses fled to Hawaii in 1986, the United States Customs agents uncovered 24 suitcases of gold bricks and diamonds hidden in diaper bags as well as certificates of gold bullions in billions of dollars.

Critics also tagged Marcos as the quintessential kleptocrat for looting billions of dollars from the Philippine treasury.

The glamorous life of Imelda was unveiled when 2,700 pairs of her shoes were seized in the presidential mansion.

Actually, Marcos, also called “Apo Lakay” by the Ilocanos, can be a candidate for the Guinness Book or Ripley’s Believe it or Not as the only man whose body has been preserved in a freezer for 22 years now!

As recorded, the only human cell or tissue that had been successfully preserved in 22 years is a semen sample.

In an experimental preservation process called  cryopreservation – a process where cells or whole tissues are preserved by cooling to low sub-zero temperatures, such as −196 °C (the boiling point of liquid nitrogen) – only a semen sample has survived in 22 years.

After 22 years, that semen sample has to breathe his last and is no use for human fertilization.

Marcos’ remains will definitely look fresh seemingly sleeping tight not like semen that should be thrashed after 22 years. But for the dead body of Marcos, he should be given a burial even as a simple man, not only for the fact that he was a part of the nation’s history, no matter how bad that part was.

The stand of Dyaryo Magdalo is, if indeed the Marcoses want to bury their dead, let it be buried to his kingdom come: in Ilocos Norte.

There, no one and nothing would be offended.  There, he will be judged.  Whether he was on the wrong side of history, let all the children someday learn and say so.

Bongbong is now a senator and he is the senator of the whole State.  So that means he should act for the State and not for his family’s sake.

Be a statesman, Bongbong.  By becoming one is to ensure that one’s acts are in congruence with the interest of the state for a peaceful country.

Bongbong knows that about half of the Filipino population is against the proposal to bury his father at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

As a statesman, he should look at the entire situation not on strength or weakness of the argument that his father did a morally and legally dignified job to the country.   He should listen to the passion against his father.

Bongbong should not force the issue of whether his father is a hero or not.  He should rather let others say so.  After all, a person is a hero or not depends on the reputation of that person.  Reputation means what others say of that person; it is not what person says of his self. 

Bongbong should not insist on whether P-Noy has no word of honor for refusing to bury Ferdinand Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.  He should listen to the word of the people that is always honorable because they are the voice of God after all. It is the word of the people that matters and not of P-Noy’s.

The bad blood between the Marcoses and the Aquinos are not material here.

Bongbong should not be swayed by the pain of their hearts.  He should listen to others’ hearts.

Most importantly, Bongbong should remember that he is a senator.  As such, he is not only a senator of those who voted for him. He should know he is also a senator of those who did not vote for him and who are still angry at his father.

Being a statesman has never been to wipe away the pain in one’s self.  It is for one not to cause disturbance to the peace and quiet of the State even to the point of pain to one’s self.

The better rule of prudence is for him to do either of the two things: (a) to bury his father in Ilocos Norte; or (b) to keep that dead body refrigerated forever.

          After all, the better act of a statesman is to give a sacrifice.  So why not make a sacrifice if you really love the Filipino and not only the “loyalists”?

Presidents Manuel Luis Quezon, Sergio Osmeña and Ramon Magsaysay were buried somewhere else.  People look high on them.

The real 14th President Fernando Poe Jr. was buried only at the North Cemetery. But he is revered as “The King.”

Ninoy Aquino was buried at the Loyola Memorial Park beside another president, President Cory.  But he is called a hero and his wife a democracy icon.

Jose Rizal was buried at the Luneta.  But we all look at him as the National Hero.

Andres Bonifacio was killed and buried in the mountains of Maragondon, Cavite.  But we also agree that without Rizal he is undisputedly the “King of Heroes.”

Lapu-lapu was buried in the place we do not even know. But history makes him the First Hero.

Sultan Kudarat was buried in an unknown place. But he is our hero, too, for giving his life for the country just to drive away the Spanish colonizers.

Hashim Salamat was buried in the hills we don’t know.  But he is undoubtedly the hero of the Bangsamoro people who are also the country’s people.

Gregorio “Ka Roger” Rosal was buried in a place we also don’t know. But he is undoubtedly revered not only by the communist.

Turn back the page of time and know whether Bongbong’s father deserves to enter the gate of the Libingan ng mga Bayani that says: “I do not know the dignity of his birth, but I do know the glory of his death.”

Ferdinand Marcos is best or worst remembered as the late strongman and his wife Imelda as the “Iron butterfly.” Their powers are best memorized by the phrase “conjugal dictatorship.”

The late strongman declared martial law on September 21, 1972 by virtue of Proclamation No. 1081 that he twisted and tweaked to his liking and succeeded by using the law of force and not the force of law.

The stronghold of the Marcoses, including the young Bongbong then, shook hard when Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport upon his return from a long exile in the United States.

The worsening political turmoil that followed forced Bongbong’s father to call a snap election that he won in February 1986. But the massive election fraud drove the masses to install Corazon “Cory” Aquino to power.

It is not the burial place. It is the glory of death.

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