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Imee mum on Marcos burial, but wants issue laid to rest

ILOCOS NORTE, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos refused to comment on the controversy surrounding the plans for a hero's burial for her father, former President Ferdinand Marcos.

"Hindi ako maaaring magkomento sapagkat sub judice at alam mo na, ang ating mga abogado ay ayaw," Imee told reporters on Sunday, September 11, the day the province is commemorating Marcos' 99th birthday.

(I can't comment because of the sub judice rule and you know, our lawyers don't want us to talk.)

The sub judice rule bars any parties to a case from publicizing comments pending judicial proceedings.

"Ang amin na lang, ipinagdadasal namin na magkaroon ng katapusan [ang issue na ito] upang sa wakas magkaisa ang Pilipino tulad ng hangarin ng ating mahal na presidente, Apo [Rodrigo] Duterte. Talagang ipagkaisa natin ang Muslim, ang Kristiyano, ang North and South, lahat ng tao, mayaman at mahirap, ay magkaisa sapagkat sa puno't dulo, tayong lahat ay Pilipino," added Imee.

(We are praying that this issue will be put to rest so that finally, Filipinos would become united like the hope of our beloved President Rodrigo Duterte. Let's unite Muslims, Christians, the North and South, the rich and poor because at the end of the day, we are all Filipinos.)

Marcos, who ruled from 1965 to 1986, was born in Sarrat town, Ilocos Norte on September 11, 1917.

He was toppled by the 1986 EDSA People Revolution and passed away two years later due to kidney, heart, and lung ailments.

Duterte is supporting the plan to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, originally set for September 18.

But activists and Martial Law victims filed 6 petitions – since consolidated into one – before the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to stop the burial.

They argue that the abuses during Martial Law disqualify Marcos from receiving a hero's burial.

As of September 7, the SC has heard both parties' oral arguments and have ordered them to submit their respective memoranda withn 20 days.

The High Court also extend the status quo ante order on Marcos' remains to October 18.

'Let's just bury the dead'

On Sunday, Imee and her mother Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda led the province in celebrating the late strongman's birthday.

Marcos loyalists from the "Solid North" provinces – Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan – and other areas are expected to troop to Batac City for the day's events.

These include a cook-off and a boodle fight at the Imelda Cultural Center, a Mass at the Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion Parish, and a dinner at the Batac mansion inside the Ferdinand E Marcos Presidential Center.

Imee said: "Habang nandito tayo sa Ilocos Norte, balita ko maraming taga-Maynila. Sa Quezon City Circle sa Manila, sa simbahan nagpamisa rin. Ganun din sa Caloocan, ganun din sa Pasay, ganun din sa Laguna, sa Tacloban, sa iba't ibang lugar sa Mindanao at sa mga kaibigan namin doon din sa Visayas at sa Cavite at Bulacan. Kaya ako ay nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng nakakaalala sa tatay ko at alam naman natin na sa haba ng panahon, ay talaga namang magkakaroon ng katotohanan.

(While we are in Ilocos Norte, I heard that there are many people from Manila here. There was a Mass in Quezon City, Caloocsn, Pasay, Laguna, Tacloban, places in Mindanao, in Visayas, in Cavite and Laguna. That's why I'm thankful to those who continue to remember my father and we hope that after all these years, the truth will be revealed.)

"'Wag na tayong humatol sa panahong ito tutal ang katungkulan natin ngayon ay ilibing ang patay (Let's not make any condemnations now because our only role today is to bury the dead)," she added. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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