FACT CHECK: Security dog assigned to Cory not buried in Libingan
MANILA, Philippines – As the debate over the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani raged online, some commenters claimed there were "double standards" applied in deciding who can and can't be buried there.
Some social media posts said the dog of former president Corazon Aquino was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Several Facebook pages shared links – which have been liked and shared at least 500 times – to webpages stating that the dog was buried at the Hero's Cemetery.
But a quick search of newspaper archives showed that the claims made are wrong.
In fact, the Labrador named “Shadow” was part of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and was not the former president's own personal pet.
The dog was identified as a bomb sniffer who “sniffed around in search of bombs at gatherings to be attended by [Corazon Aquino],” a 1992 report by the New Straits Times said. Such dogs are usually part of the security detail of presidents.
Even President Rodrigo Duterte has his own set of PSG dogs assigned to him, mostly German Shepherds, including the dog Narda.
Shadow, who served for 6 years, died from stomach illness in 1992 or the last year of the Corazon Aquino administration. It was buried with “military honors and drum roll” in Malacañang Park, the headquarters of the PSG under which the dog served. Shadow was not buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The decision to give this type of burial for Shadow sparked controversy, as the Cory Aquino administration then refused to allow the remains of former president Marcos to be brought back to the Philippines.
Marcos died on September 28, 1989 at the age of 72, after spending 3 years in exile in Hawaii.
The initial refusal to allow his body’s return was said to be “in the interest of the safety of those who will take the death of Marcos in widely and passionately conflicting ways.” In 1992, Aquino reiterated the government ban until after the May elections for fear that it could spark election-related violence.
However, then deputy spokesperson Lourdes Sytangco said in a report that the decision to give the K9 bomb sniffer burial honors was “strictly military tradition.”
Several dogs who served in the police or military had also been given tributes in previous years. The latest was Geraldine, the police dog of the PNP Regional Public Safety Batallion (RPSB) 13 who was given burial honors in July 2016 in the RPSB compound in Butuan. – Rappler.com