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MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday, November 1, visited the grave of his father and namesake, the late strongman who, in the President’s own words, is the reason why he now holds the nation’s top post.
Marcos, according to posts on his social media account, visited the grave of the his father following a visit to Maguindanao province, one of the areas worst-hit by Severe Tropical Storm Paeng (Nalgae).
The President was joined by his family – First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, former first lady Imelda Marcos, his sisters, and his sons, among others – in a mass for the Marcos patriarch at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
It’s a Filipino custom to visit the dead every All Saints’ Day, November 1, and All Souls’ Day, November 2. November 1 is a special non-working day. Marcos declared October 31 as a special non-working day too.
It wasn’t Marcos’ first visit to his father’s grave as sitting president.
He dropped by his father’s grave at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City in August after attending the funeral of the late president Fidel V. Ramos. On May 11, as the presumptive winner of the 2022 presidential election, Marcos visited his father’s grave as well.
In an earlier interview with his wedding goddaughter TV personality Toni Gonzaga, Marcos recalled telling his father during that May 11 visit: “You should be here. This is yours. This is not all mine…. This is your good work that brought me here.”
The late dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was made possible by Marcos’ immediate predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, who regarded the elder Marcos as the brightest Philippine president. Giving Marcos a hero’s burial – which had been widely protested in the country, especially by survivors and kin of victims of Martial Law abuses – was one of Duterte’s campaign promises.
Ferdinand E. Marcos was in power for over two decades. In nine of those years, the Philippines was under Martial Law, during which tens of thousands of extrajudicial arrests, human rights abuses, and disappearances were documented.
To this day, hundreds remain missing and unaccounted for – the desaparecidos who were believed to have been abducted by state forces during Marcos’ martial rule.
Nobody in the Marcos family has acknowledged the atrocities of their patriarch’s rule. Many Marcos family members – including the President’s immediate family members – are in politics, too. His sister, Imee Marcos, is a sitting senator. His son represents their home province Ilocos Norte in Congress, while Senator Marcos’ son Matthew is governor of the same province. Other family members hold various positions in local government. Many of the President’s relatives from former first lady Imelda Marcos are also in politics.
The revival and rehabilitation of the Marcos name has been an undertaking decades in the making – as early as 1986, in the moments after the late dictator was ousted from power, according to some analysts.
During the 2022 elections, Marcos rarely made explicit references to his late father. But during his inauguration, the 17th president of the Philippines promised he’d “get it done,” just as father supposedly did. – Rappler.com