Latin America

Marcos ‘body’ still in Batac mausoleum after burial

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Marcos ‘body’ still in Batac mausoleum after burial
(UPDATED) 'They should not fool the people,' a guest at the Marcos mausoleum says after finding out that the dictator's 'body' there is only a replica

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – “I feel cheated.”

This was how Maribel Ovilla, a visitor of the Marcos mausoleum in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, described how she felt after seeing what she thought was the real body of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

In a report by GMA News in Ilocos Norte, Ovilla explained, “Kasi hindi naman pala totoo ‘yung nandito (Because what is here is apparently not real).”

Ovilla visited the mausoleum at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in Batac on Friday, November 18.

It was the same day Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) in Manila.

GMA-7 reporter Saleema Refran said Marcos’ wax figure was still encased in a glass coffin at the Batac mausoleum by 11:30 am on Friday, around the same time that the Marcos burial rites began in Manila.  

While taking video was prohibited inside the mausoleum, Refran reported that guests and she herself saw the Marcos figure there on Friday.

A staff member of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, the late dictator’s daughter, told GMA News that the figure displayed in the mausoleum was only a replica of Marcos’ original body covered in wax.

In Ilocos Norte, Julius Ovilla said after finding out that the “body” was only a replica: “Hindi maganda ‘yon, hindi maganda. Dapat ipaalam ‘yan. Kung aalisin nila, dapat sabihin ang totoo. Huwag ‘yung lolokohin pa ‘yung tao.

(That’s not good, that’s not good. They should have told us. If they would remove it, they should tell the truth. They should not fool the people.)

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.”

A source privy to the burial preparations told Rappler 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. (READ: Inside Track: ‘Replica’ left in mausoleum on day of Marcos burial –

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior multimedia reporter covering religion for Rappler. He also teaches journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. For story ideas or feedback, email