- Duterte ally said Marcos family’s 1992 deal with gov’t bars his burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani
- He said both sides should honor the agreement since it remains binding
- However, he also said Duterte can opt to abrogate the deal as president
MANILA, Philippines – Former interior secretary Rafael Alunan III revealed the existence of a deal the Marcos family struck with the government in 1992 which could potentially derail plans to transfer late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’s remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Alunan, who was assigned by then-President Fidel V. Ramos to broker the negotiations with the Marcos family, said one of the conditions for the return of Marcos’s remains to the country after he died in Hawaii was that he was to be buried in Ilocos Norte, not in the LNMB.
According to him, the deal remains in force today because it was never abrogated by past administrations. He added Marcos should be treated as an exception to the rule for burial in LNMB given his history.
“His ouster as President and commander-in-chief speaks for itself, and the exception to the rule that disqualifies a candidate should apply here,” he said.
On his Facebook, Alunan however said that current President Rodrigo Duterte can opt to rescind the deal if he wants to.
“The presidency is all-powerful. The deal cannot prevent the president from forging his own. PRRD can opt to either trash or uphold the agreement forged during the time of his predecessor and mentor – PFVR,” he wrote.
Alunan also suggested that Duterte should consult the people through Congress first—a proposal also being supported by Ramos.
“We’ve also said that to mitigate the impact on his political capital, he might want to get the sense of the people through Congress. In our view, that would be the prudent and circumspect track to take. That way he can say that he evaluated the views of all sides of the issue and made an informed decision,” he said.