Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MARCOS: To Be or Not To Be @LNMB

My doctors say that I miraculously survived a stroke. After several
months in the hospital and rehab, I am currently at home to continue
the recuperating process. I intend to resume my Asian Journal column
and Google BlogSpot Blog.

Reading the latest news online, I noticed that the issue of whether
Marcos should be buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani is again
headline news.

The Presidential Legal Counsel claims: “It does not distinguish
whether a president is good, bad, handsome or ugly. If you’re a
president, you’re entitled to be buried there.” He says that as a
soldier it is irrelevant whether he was a  “fake” hero with “fake”

Different opinions are encouraged but they will most likely be ignored.

Here is my legal opinion:

There are two relevant laws: Republic Act No. 289 and AFPR G 161 374.
The former is the statute that provides for the creation of a national
pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes and
Patriots of the country while the latter is the last of a series of
implementing rules relating to the construction, development and
maintenance of the pantheon.

The main reason for the national pantheon’s being is provided in
Section 1 of Republic Act No. 289: “to perpetuate the memory of all
the Presidents of the Philippines, national heroes and patriots for
the inspiration and emulation of this generation and of generation
still unborn.”

In short, to be buried in the hallowed ground are the remains of
Filipino heroes who would serve as “inspiration and emulation” of the generation when the law was enacted, today and most especially those of tomorrow who are yet to be born.

By the very letter of the law alone, given what transpired during his
dictatorial regime and the way he was eventually deposed, it would be
very hard to justify making Marcos as someone to emulate and as a
model to inspire any generation.

AFPR G 161 374 specifically provides who are qualified and who are
disqualified to be interred in the national pantheon. It requires that
they must have the qualifications and none of the disqualifications.

Paragraph 2 of AFPR G 161 374, entitled, Allocation of Cemetery Plots
at the Libingan ng mga Bayani enumerates who are qualified to be
interred in the cemetery. It says, “The remains of the following
deceased persons are qualified and therefore, authorized to be
interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayani:

a.      Medal of valor awardees:

b.      Presidents or commanders-in-chief AFP;

c.       Secretaries of national defense;

d.      Chiefs of staff, AFP;

e.       General flag officers of the AFP;

f.       Active and retired military personnel of the AFP;

g.      Veterans of Philippine Revolution 1896, WW1, WW2 and
recognized guerillas;

h       Government dignitaries, statesmen, national artists and other
deceased persons whose interment or re-interment has been approved by
the commander-in-chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense.

i.       Former presidents, secretaries of defense, CSAFP,
generals/flsg officers, dignitaries, statesmen, national artists,
widows of former presidents, secretaries of national defense and chief
of staff are authorized to be interred at the LNMB.”

The Presidential Legal Counsel could be relying on this provision
because clearly and understandably Marcos would qualify as among those

Unfortunately there is another paragraph in the said rules which also
clearly states those who are NOT qualified to be interred in the
Libingan ng mga Bayani. It says, “The remains of the following shall
NOT be interred in the Libingan ng mga Bayani:

a.      Personnel who were dishonorably separated/reverted/discharged from the service.

b.       Authorized personnel who were convicted by final judgment of
the offense involving moral turpitude.

Read with R.A. 289, mere inclusion in the list is not
sufficient. Anyone in the list must also serve as “inspiration and
emulation” for the current and future generation. So they must not
therefore bring dishonor in any shape or form. That is why the
provision on disqualification was also added.
Marcos cannot be disqualified on the basis of letter “b”. He was never
convicted by final judgment of any offense involving moral turpitude.
Although we can cite several offenses involving moral turpitude
allegedly committed by him, he died before he could be charged, tried
and convicted. There are legal effects or consequences of death. In
this material world, our finite courts cannot acquire criminal
jurisdiction over the soul of the dead. It would be too late for any
measure of personal and material reformation and / or retribution. The Divine courts take over for final judgment.

Letter “a” is another matter. Marcos was President, Dictator and
Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. He installed himself as such
virtually for life. There is only one way for him to be dishonorably
discharged, separated or deposed – by revolution of the people who as
the sovereign authority had temporarily vested its governmental powers
to him. The EDSA or People Power Revolution of 1986 “dishonorably
discharged” him not only for conduct unbecoming of an officer but most
significantly for killing democracy, for violation of human rights and
a list of other reasons too long to enumerate in this article.

A quick read of the affidavits submitted by human rights victims and
relatives of deceased victims for compensation depict cumulatively not only Crimes Against Humanity but include offenses involving moral turpitude.


The Presidential Legal Counsel mentioned Marcos and his Maharlika outfit. It would be wise to take notice what the U.S. military records show: (See document)


  1. Ben, the pantheon was never built, and separate from the Libingan. Pls. see links at the end of my article.

  2. Ben, the pantheon was never built, and separate from the Libingan. Pls. see links at the end of my article.