‘Replica’ left in mausoleum on day of Marcos burial

Mara Cepeda

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‘Replica’ left in mausoleum on day of Marcos burial
'But I bet on my life that it’s really the actual body [that was buried],' says a source involved in the burial preparations for ex-President Ferdinand Marcos

A source privy to the burial preparations for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos said on Sunday, November 20, that they left a “replica” of his body in his mausoleum in Ilocos Norte on the day he was interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.  

This comes after Marcos loyalists said they “felt cheated” when they saw a body of the former president still displayed at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in Batac, Ilocos Norte on the day of the burial.   

Friday early morning, the body was switched. So ‘yung katawan na nandun na nakita ng media was actually a decoy. It was a replica. So the reason why they opened the mausoleum at 11 am is to show na it’s normal, andun ba ‘yung katawan ang everything. Alam ko there’s 2 or 3 replicas nung katawan,” said the source who requested anonymity.  

(The body was switched early Friday morning. So the body seen by the media was a decoy. It was a replica. So the reason why they opened the mausoleum at 11 am on Friday was to show that things were normal and to answer questions whether or not the body is there. I know there are 2 or 3 replicas of the body.) 

On November 18, Marcos’ remains were finally transferred to the national shrine for heroes in Taguig City in a peaceful and private ceremony requested by his heirs. (READ: Behind the scenes: 12 hours to prepare for Marcos burial

The stealthy way the burial was planned and carried out was condemned by Marcos’ critics, with personalities like Vice President Leni Robredo calling out the Marcoses for their “hidden wealth, hidden human rights abuses, and now, a hidden burial.” 

The source maintained that the Marcoses buried the former president’s actual preserved body at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Some netizens had pointed out that the coffin pictured during the interment was too small for a body. 

According to the source, a top view of Marcos’ wooden coffin would show that the dimensions fit the former president’s body shape. 

“I’m actually tempted to say that if the coffin is filled with chocolates and candies, people would believe me. But I bet on my life that it’s really the actual body [that was buried],” added the source.

Quoting a Marcos family friend, historian Antonio Montalvan II earlier said that the “body” of Marcos in Batac is “just a wax replica, and that the real body had already been buried “underneath the glass coffin.” – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.