Why Duterte gov't believes Marcos is a war hero
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has submitted to the Supreme Court (SC) documents that would attempt to prove the late President Ferdinand Marcos was a war hero.
The OSG is defending the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the burial of the dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) – a policy that 6 petitions seek to reverse through the High Court.
The SC held the first day of oral arguments on these petitions on Wednesday, August 31, and is set to hear the side of the government and the Marcos heirs next week.
The 54 pages of attachments to the OSG’s Consolidated Comment include 11 documents that supposedly show that past administrations have recognized Marcos as a soldier, a war hero, and a recipient of the Medal of Valor.
The OSG’s 90-page pleading says Marcos was called to active duty as a Third Lieutenant under the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) on November 15, 1941. He left the service as a colonel in 1963.
Marcos was given the Medal of Valor for his “prevention of the possible decimation of withdrawing USAFFE troops in a ‘suicidal action against overwhelming enemy forces,’ thus helping delay the inevitable fall of Bataan,” the pleading said.
The annexes to support the pleading include:
- General Order Number 167, dated October 16, 1968, and signed by then Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Alfonso Arellano. It is a two-page narrative of how Marcos led his men in defending Salian Junction along the Abucay Line against Japanese forces on January 22-26, 1942. It says Marcos only had “a hundred fighting men against a regiment of about 2,000 highly-trained and well-equipped Japanese troops.”
- Checks from the Philippine Veterans Bank and the Land Bank of the Philippines that were issued to Marcos’ widow, now Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, in 2003 and 2004. The PBV checks represent the late president’s pension as a retired soldier; the LBP checks were “payment of gratuity pay/medal of valor.”
- Certification issued by the AFP General Headquarters on March 4, 1986, and signed by Philippine Army Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Martin. The two-page certification says that, “according to records of Colonel Ferdinand E. Marcos, he was recipient of a ‘Medal of Valor,’ 3 ‘Distinguished Conduct Stars,’ and two ‘Distinguished Service Stars,’” among others.
The petitions with the High Court have named AFP chief of staff Ricardo Visaya, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and the heirs of Ferdinand Marcos (as represented by Imelda) as respondents. – Rappler.com