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Nene bucks Duterte plan to bury Marcos in Libingan :: June 17, 2016, 11:41 pm :: posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent

(By Jovic Yee, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 17 June 2016 11:41 PM)

PARTIDO Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) chair emeritus and former senate president Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel said on Friday the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos should stay in his northern hometown of Batac amid the raging debate over suggestions to transfer him to the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.

"I have been suggesting for a long time that Marcos should be buried in a place where he is honored by the people. And that’s in his hometown (Batac)," Pimentel told reporters when sought for comment on incoming President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to transfer Marcos at the Libingan, which has been the dictator’s family’s request over the past two decades.

He noted that at least in Ilocos Norte, Marcos would be able to “get all the honors that he wants.”

"He is obviously still loved there by some people.  Let them give the honors to him," said Pimentel, who as an opposition figure bitterly fought the repressive Marcos regime.

But should the Marcos family insist that the remains be transferred, Pimentel said the cemetery should be renamed "Libingan ng mga Sundalo."

Not out to convince Duterte

He clarified, however, that he was only exercising his right to "speak out my mind as a free citizen" and was not out to convince Duterte to reconsider his stance. Duterte has said he was a close friend of the Marcos family.

Pimentel said the country did not need to bestow Marcos a huge honor given that "thousands of our citizens were tortured and killed during [the] martial law [era]."

Thousands of activists were jailed, killed or went missing during Marcos’ repressive regime, which was ended by a "people power" revolt in 1986 that sent the dictator and his family into exile in Hawaii, where he died three years later.  Imelda Marcos and her children were however later allowed to return home, and his cadaver was subsequently kept in a refrigerated crypt.

On Independence Day, hundreds of individuals, led by the Facebook group "Never Again to Marcos Family and their Cronies," gathered at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani to protest the transfer.

But Pimentel’s son and PDP-Laban president Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III had said he would not oppose Duterte’s plan.

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