Fil-Am Voice staff asked members of Maui’s Filipino community “What do you think of President Ferdinand Marcos being buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes Cemetery)?” President Marcos is shown here with former U.S. Secretary of State
George Schultz in 1982
Ferdinand E. Marcos, the 10th president of the Philippines (December 30, 1965 to February 25, 1986), died in exile on September 28, 1989 in Honolulu. In 1993, then-president Fidel V. Ramos, who headed the Philippine Constabulary under President Marcos, allowed the Marcos family to fly his remains to Batac, Ilocos Norte, where it remained on display.
During his campaign for president, Rodrigo Duterte promised the Marcos family he would allow President Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes Cemetery) in Taguig, Philippines. On August 7, 2016, President Duterte issued the order to allow Marcos’ burial. After a delay, on November 8, 2016, the Philippines Supreme Court, by a vote of 9–5 with one inhibition, dismissed seven petitions filed that sought to prevent the burial of President Marcos. President Marcos was buried on November 18, 2016.
Fil-Am Voice staff asked members of Maui’s Filipino community “What do you think of President Ferdinand Marcos being buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes Cemetery)?”
Arnel, 48 years old, of Makawao with roots in Cagayan and Ilocos Sur, and Ilocos Norte: “If you go back, way back, as we know the Philippines was a very safe and a very respected country—always in the top three among Asian countries. Knowing that he was a veteran and he has done so much for the people of the Philippines, it is worth it for his country and his countrymen that he would be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.”
Claro, 64 years old of Kahului, with roots in Ilocos Sur: “It’s good to me because he’s finally buried where his family wanted him to be buried.”
Hundreds protested with this large banner on August 14, 2016 at Rizal Park. Current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte would not be moved, having ordered the burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Protesters that day give a clear and unified “ thumbs down” with regard to President Rody Duterte’s decision.
Conrado has roots in Bantay, Ilocos Sur: “I think it’s a good idea. While people may not have agreed with how he led, he was a great leader and he should be remembered at home and not at some foreign land.”
Danny, 56 years old of Wailuku with roots in Sinait, Ilocos Sur: “Marcos deserves to be buried there as a military man. He was a very good senator. He was a very good President of the Republic until he declared martial law. That is where the disagreements started. To the opposition he is a dictator and a human rights violator. To some of us he was still a hero. He was a hero for not allowing Philippines to become communist which the leftist wanted. So for us who didn’t want communism he was a hero all the way. The left never and didn’t understand that. So for me he deserves to be buried there.”
Elmer, 58 years old of Kahului with roots in Ilocos Norte. “It doesn’t affect me. I don’t agree or disagree.”
Flory, 55 years old of Makawao with roots in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte: “It’s good. He deserved to be buried there.”
Irene, 41 years old of Kahului with roots in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte: “It’s about time. The criteria to be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani is either a soldier who fought for the country or was a President. He met both criterias. His accomplishments as a President is not even included in the reasons why he should be buried there. He is not only a hero but the best President Philippines had.”
Jeffrey, 61 years old of Wailuku with roots in Pangasinan: “Not in favor.”
Kit, 31 years old of Wailuku with roots in Baguio City, Bataan, and Quezon City, “Marcos is not a hero. Heroes fight for freedom, not torture and murder 70,000. Heroes fight for justice, not fabricate fake stories and deny stolen, ill-gotten $10 billion wealth. Blatant lies and manipulation are not heroic acts. I support him being buried, but not at the Heroes Cemetery. The hasty burial ‘like a thief in the night’ was a slap and piss in the face for the families victimized by his tyranny, including mine, and a poison for future generations’ morals.”
Leo, 73 years old of Kahului with roots in Paoay, Ilocos Norte: “They should allow him. You cannot just think of what happened during Martial Law. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but that’s what is to be expected during those times. The late president was not like Duterte. It is unfortunate that it took this long to give him this opportunity.”
Lilia, 58 years old of Pä‘ia with roots in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte: “It’s good thing, good for him. He is finally able to rest in peace. A new beginning for the Filipino people. The Marcos family can begin the process of healing while the country can in turn begin moving towards recovery from years of bad blood, negativity, finger pointing and such. The leaders who followed the Marcos administration to me didn’t prevent ‘kurakot’. By this new administration allowing the late president to take his place in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, proved that the new leadership is ready to bury the past and pave the way for the country to now move forward.”
Lina, 74 years old of Kïhei with roots in Ilocos Norte: “I agree but they should have buried him a long time ago. If they couldn’t bury him there, they should have buried him in his home town. They shouldn’t have waited that long.”
Magdalena, 78 years old of Kahului with roots in Paoay, Ilocos Norte: “I am in favor of him being buried in the Heroes Cemetary because for me he has done good things for the country, the Philippines. There could be something he had done that is not good but overall I do believe that he has done more good things plus if he had done bad things we are supposed to be forgiving each other so we should be able to forgive him and have him buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.”
Melen, 50 years old of Wailuku with roots in Badoc, Ilocos Norte: “Hallelujah. It’s about time. He deserves it.”
Ricky, 59 years old of Kahului with roots in Laoag and Bangui, Ilocos Norte: “I have no response.”
Romeo, 54 years old, lives in Wailuku with roots in Sinait, Ilocos Sur. “I agree that he should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Because in his term, I knew it was a long term, but look at the results of the administrations after him. Do you have any improvements? No. I think he deserved to be buried there. With his accomplishments during his term although at the end there is a lot of controversy but the thing is they’re only accusing him. There is no proof that he was doing the wrong thing. It is so sad he passed away before he could prove he didn’t do those things.
Salvie, 62 years old of Wailuku with roots in San Nicolos, Ilocos Norte: “He’s a hero. He deserved to be buried in the Heroes Cemetery.”
Sigrid, 57 years old of Wailuku with roots in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte: “Even though he did what he did in the past, that’s in the past. He’s still a president and a hero so he should be buried there.”