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UPDATE ON MARCOS' HERO'S BURIAL ISSUE

Bongbong calls PNoy 'man without one word'

A dismayed Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday criticized President Aquino for supposedly not keeping his word of properly considering the proposal to allow the late President Marcos be given state honors and be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

"It is very hard to deal in good faith with somebody who does not have one word on the subject," the younger Marcos told reporters in an interview.

Aquino had earlier asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to make a recommendation on the matter. Binay recommended that Marcos be buried in his home province in Ilocos Norte but with full military honors.

The President, however, objected to both the idea of burying the late strongman at the Heroes' Cemetery and giving him state honors.

As of posting time, Malacañang has yet to comment on Bongbong's remarks.

But earlier in the day, President Aquino reiterated before a forum by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) that there will be no state burial for the elder Marcos as the move would allegedly be an injustice to Martial Law victims.

To which, Bongbong asked Aquino what was the point of asking Binay to study the matter and make a recommendation if he will just decide on his own.

"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," he said.

He likewise said that the President probably only promised to consider their proposal when he was still a candidate so that he could get votes.

"Sa aking pananaw eh nakapagdecide na pala siya bago pa nung kampanya... yung salita nung kampanya para lang makakuha ng boto," he said. "Hindi pala siya tapat sa kanyang sinabi nung kanyang pagka-upo. It was play acting on his part, the President's part."

Binay, for his part, said that Aquino's decision is "the prerogative of the President and we must all accept, respect and support."

Wasted opportunity?

The younger Marcos then described Aquino's actions as 'not President-like.'

"He has wasted a very good opportunity to unify the nation. He obviously does not want to heal those divisions... he wants to widen those divisions, which brings us to the conclusion he's not a natural leader," he said.

"(This) is not the act of a leader. It is not the act of the head of state. It is not the act of somebody who is trying to birng the country together. It is the act of somebody who is continuing to promote the divisiveness of partisan politics," he added.

A survey by pollster SWS for the first quarter of 2011 had earlier found a "virtually exact split opinion" between supporters and opponents of the idea to let Marcos be buried at the Heroes' Cemetery.

Meanwhile, Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, who served as Agriculture minister during the Marcos regime, had earlier proposed House Resolution 1135 urging Aquino to allow the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Those allowed to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani are military personnel who died in line of duty or were honorably discharged, Filipino veterans, former presidents, government dignitaries, statesmen and national artists.

The remains of widows of former Philippine presidents, the secretaries of national defense and chiefs of staff are also authorized to be interred in the same plot where their husbands are buried.— RSJ, GMA News

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