The Claim: Ferdinand Marcos Sr. is a hero because he was buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in 2016.
The Facts: In a YouTube live video broadcast on June 22, 2022 by vlogger Daddy D, he implied that Marcos is a hero because he was buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB) and that Ninoy Aquino is not because he was buried at the Manila Memorial Cemetery.
“Libingan ng mga Bayani, sino nakalibing? Ferdinand Marcos. Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos ang nakalibing. Manila Memorial (cemetery), sino nakalibing? Ninoy Aquino. Sino ang bayani? O, wag na natin pahabain.”
Upon winning the 2016 presidential elections, Rodrigo Duterte stated that he would allow Marcos to be buried at the LNMB despite Marcos not being a hero. “I will allow Marcos burial in Libingan ng Mga Bayani, not because he was a hero but because he was a Filipino soldier.”
Duterte also said, “Ang Pilipinas (The Philippines) is you need only to be a president and a solider. Nobody is debating about heroes here. Assuming it to be true na wala siyang medalya (that he does not have medals) or not validated by an American record does not mean that he is not qualified to be buried there. So what’s the objection?”
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Regulation G 161-373, the following are allowed to be buried at the LNMB: presidents and former presidents, AFP, AFP generals and flag officers, active and retired military personnel, veterans of wars in which the Philippines was involved in, dignitaries, statesmen, and national artists. There are more qualifiers which entitle a person to be buried at the LNMB, and these can be viewed here: https://www.rappler.com/…/134509-heroes-cemetery…/
Although the regulation also states that “those who have been dishonorably discharged from service, or personnel convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, do not qualify for interment.’’
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) objected to the burial as Marcos’ record as a soldier in World War II is “fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies, and lies.” The NHCP lists Marcos’ lies to include his lies about receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Order of the Purple Heart.
Marcos’ supposed guerrilla unit, Ang Mga Maharlika, was also “never officially recognized and neither was his leadership of it.”
The US officials also did not recognize Marcos’ rank and promotion from major to lieutenant colonel, and the US military has also called into question Marcos’ actions as a soldier in WWII.
Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization, has also stated that Marcos is not a hero due to the human rights violations during his “dictatorial presidency from 1965 to 1986 [which] involved rampant killings, torture, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary arrests.”
Amnesty International also said that in an interview with Marcos in 1975, “President Marcos told Amnesty International that over 50,000 people had been arrested and detained under martial law from 1972-1975.” “Tens of thousand of Filipinos were tortured, forcibly disappeared and killed from 1972 to 1981. These numbers were documented by the government’s own Human Rights Victims Claims Board.”
Why we fact-checked this: This is historical revisionism. A skewed view of the dictator and his dictatorship can lead people to forgetting the atrocities, human rights abuses, and corruption that occurred during the Marcos regime.
When these things are forgotten, there is the danger of the country repeating history and experiencing all these atrocities and abuses of power again.
Being buried in a hero’s plot doesn’t automatically make you a hero. The worms that consume you don’t see themselves as heroic.