By MB Online
Former president Ferdinand Marcos has been buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani Friday noon, November 18, in a ceremony that surprised both Marcos loyalists and opponents alike.
The former president was given simple military honors as the family requested. He was given a 21-gun salute.
In a statement, the Marcos Presidential Center said the family chose palochina or pine wood for the coffin as a way of “keeping the funeral simple.”
National Capital Region police chief Oscar Albayalde told GMA News that the burial rites took approximately an hour.
He said the helicopter that airlifted Marcos’ remains from Batac, Ilocos Norte arrived at the cemetery at around 11:15 a.m.
Military tradition dictates that soldiers should be buried at noon.
The burial was limited to the Marcos family and military conferring the military honors, with the police and media personnel huddled outside the cemetery.
Earlier, Philippine Army personnel at the gate of the heroes’ cemetery have reportedly said there will be a “rehearsal” today, but did not disclose for what or whom it was for.
Pro- and anti-Marcos protesters picketed outside the cemetery and traded barbs at each other’s causes.
‘Simple, private, solemn’
In a statement read out at the Villamor Airbase after the burial, Ilocos Norte governor and the late president’s daughter Imee Marcos asked for the public’s understanding in keeping the interment private.
“Ako ay humihingi ng dispensa at pag-unawa na lamang ninyo sa naging pasya ng aking pamilya na gawing payak, pribado at taimtim ang paglibing sa aking ama upang hindi na masaling ang mga nagdaramdam,” the governor said.
She said the family is thankful for carrying out the former strongman’s dying wish to be laid among with fellow soldiers.
Aside from thanking their supporters, the family also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for bringing up the issue before the Supreme Court.
AFP spokesman, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said the military complied with the family’s wishes to restrict media coverage of the event. The ceremony took an hour.
He also said a huge portion of Marcos’ tomb was already constructed even before the Supreme Court first issued a status quo ante order on the burial.
Padilla also reiterated the family defrayed the expenses, including the use of two choppers to fly the remains and the Marcoses.
Padilla described Marcos’ tomb as a simple one finished in marble and with a cauldron with flame. He said Marcos was buried underground at an area reserved for former presidents, but not necessarily beside other presidents.
Malacañang, meanwhile, is unaware if the Marcoses informed President Rodrigo Duterte about the burial.
But presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, who is in Lima, Peru with the president to attend the APEC Summit, said that both sides would hopefully find silence and space in their hearts to forgive, reiterating the call that the burial would start the cycle of healing.
Abella also stressed that the president adhered to the ruling of the high court and the government extended necessary assistance to the Marcoses for the burial, which was their personal decision.
The move comes as the Supreme Court on November 8 dismissed all petitions against the burial in a 9-5-1 favorable vote.
While petitioners can file a motion for reconsideration, no appeal has been filed yet.
The former president died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, three years after being deposed in the 1986 people power revolution.
Marcos’ remains were repatriated in September 1993 and were put on public display inside a glass coffin and at the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac prior to Friday’s burial.