Alvarez: 'Waste of time' to probe AFP, PNP officers behind Marcos burial
MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said the House of Representatives will not follow the call of former president Fidel Ramos to investigate key military and police officers who supposedly connived with the Marcos family for the surprise burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"No, it's a waste of time," Alvarez said in a text message to Rappler on Tuesday, November 22.
A day before, Ramos slammed Marcos' surprise interment on November 18 as part of a conspiracy among the Marcoses as well as some officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Ramos, who was once the chief of the Philippine Constabulary under Marcos, noted that not even Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was aware of the burial. President Rodrigo Duterte himself also said he "knew nothing" about the interment.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa was also supposedly informed about the interment only a day before the event, while AFP Chief of Staff General Ricardo Visaya and the commanding generals of the military's major services – army, navy, and the air force – were absent as well.
The Marcos family wanted a peaceful and private ceremony, with the media learning about the burial only an hour before it took place. The stealthy way the burial rites was planned and carried out angered several of Marcos' critics, including Ramos.
Alvarez, however, said Marcos' burial should not even be considered a secret.
"It was never a secret. In fact, na-cover pa ng TV at napanood natin sa news. Baka naman masama ang loob niya (Ramos) at hindi siya na-invite as former president," said Alvarez.
(It was never a secret. In fact, it was covered by TV networks and we watched it on the news. Maybe Ramos felt bad because he was not invited as former president.)
Deputy Speaker Eric Singson also believes the House will not be heeding Ramos' call, saying the "majority believe that the law was followed" for Marcos' burial. (READ: 'Nothing illegal' with Marcos burial – supermajority lawmakers)
"I hope we can end this debate regarding Marcos' burial as I personally believe the Marcos family just proceeded when the [status quo ante order] was lifted and the burial was implemented when no motion for reconsideration was filed 10 days after the November 8 decision," said Singson.
The Supreme Court on November 8 junked the petitions seeking to bar Marcos' interment at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Probe will determine 'real conspirators'
Leaders of leftist groups had asked the SC to cite in contempt the Marcos family, AFP, and Department of National Defense for proceeding with the burial even as the SC decision on the matter was not yet final and executory.
Petitioner and Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman also filed a motion for the exhumation of the late strongman's remains.
On Tuesday, Lagman said Ramos' call for an investigation on uniformed personnel involved in the burial rites is crucial.
"It's important that we conduct that probe to know who are the real conspirators in the hasty and surreptitious burial of the late dictator," said Lagman.
He said the AFP and PNP could conduct the probe, "unless you aren't anymore confident that it would be an impartial inquiry."
Lagman said he will not personally file a House resolution calling for an investigation in aid of legislation, on the matter, but other congressmen may do so if they wish. – Rappler.com