MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang confirmed late Sunday, August 7, that preparations for the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani are underway.
In a press release, the Palace said the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), the government office that supervises the Libingan ng mga Bayani, will be the main office in charge of preparations for the burial.
Preparations include "close coordination with the Marcos family."
Malacañang also released a memorandum from Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, addressed to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Ricardo Visaya.
In the memo, Lorenzana instructed Visaya to "undertake the necessary planning and preparations to facilitate the coordination of all agencies concerned."
The defense chief added, "Submit your Implementing Plan to my office as soon as possible."
Earlier on Sunday, President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated that the late dictator deserves to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"As a former soldier and former president of the Philippines, I see nothing wrong in having Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," Duterte said.
There were reports that Marcos' remains would be transferred from Ilocos Norte to the cemetery in Taguig City on September 18.
Since the campaign period, Duterte has said he would allow Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The late strongman's son and namesake, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, also said his father deserves the honor for serving as a soldier during World War II (WWII).
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), however, recently circulated an online pamphlet that said Marcos' record as a WWII soldier is "fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies, and lies."
The NHCP pointed out that Marcos' service as a WWII soldier was "officially called into question" by the United States military.
His supposed guerrilla unit Ang Mga Maharlika and promotion from major to lieutenant in the 1940s were also unrecognized. – Rappler.com