Friday, June 3, 2011

To Honor or not: Binay's Solomonic Answer

Former Mabini lawyer and now Vice President Jejomar Binay has a solution to the decades-old debate on what to do with former president Ferdinand Marcos' body. As you know, the former strongman's remains lie in state at the family mansion in Paoay, Ilocos Norte. A refrigerated crypt preserves the body of one of the country's most illustrious sons. His widow, former First Lady Imelda Marcos wants nothing more than satisfy her late husband's request--that is to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

That's entirely not possible, says the Makati Business Club. The MBC urged Binay not to succumb to the request of the Marcos family for a decent burial for Macoy. They said that Marcos does not deserve such an honor because:

"...that is a serious historical revisionism at its worst." 

The MBC further said that:

“is a gross distortion of the late dictator's true legacy of autocracy, ruined democratic institutions, violent political repression, unprecedented wholesale corruption, shameless nepotism, crony capitalism, a crushing debt burden, and widespread social inequity and marginalization,” 

The group took note, in particular, the effect of the dictatorship on the business sector.

“We particularly remember the near bankruptcy of the government and the need for a moratorium on debt payments because of the burden of unpaid crony loans and the gross mismanagement of the economy in general. Our country struggled with the payments for those onerous loans long after Mr. Marcos had been deposed,” the group added.

Meaning---Marcos is not to be given an honorable burial because for twenty years, he was the one who only earned billions while the rest of us businessmen suffered. He was so selfish! He did'nt share the loot.

Anyway, Binay's Solomonic solution is simple: Ferdie to be given full military honors but not to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Such a trapo solution.

One question to Binay---are we honoring Ferdinand Marcos for his exemplary record as a World War II veteran-officer or we are honoring him for being one of our Presidents?

Why are we giving full military honors, for what?

Which of the great attributes of the strongman are we giving honor?

Are we honoring him as a war veteran or as a President?

If we say we are honoring Marcos as a war veteran, then, he must be buried alongside his compatriots at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. He deserves it.

If we say we are honoring Marcos as one of our presidents, then, we should also recognize him in totality. And in recognizing him in totality means accepting him as a great soldier and a war hero, for which, he still deserves a spot at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

You can't say that you are honoring Marcos as a President and not discuss why you are honoring him in the first place?

Is it a right for a war hero to be buried there? Yes. Is it a right of a president to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani? Not necessarily. It is not a tradition for a Philippine president to be buried at the hallowed grounds of the Libingan.

This is the quandary. If you honor Marcos as a President, you honor him also as a war hero. These two attributes are clearly interlinked. You can't do the other without affecting the other.