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by Juan L. Mercado

“Chiz, your ‘Heart’ is not in the right place.”

Phil Cruz e-mailed that in reaction to “Macabre joke.” This Philippine Daily Mirror Sept. 28 column discussed Sen. Francis Escudero’s proposal to bury the embalmed remains of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Come February, the senator is to marry fiancée Heart Evangelista.

Escudero brushed aside 3,275 extrajudicial killings under the “New Society.” Marcos was a former head of state and soldier, he said. These justify a Libingan burial. “It’d end all open wounds in our society so the nation can move forward faster.”

Here are excerpts from some of the other reactions to Senator Escudero’s proposal. We’ve trashed the libelous.

“If the corpse of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. will be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, it means he is forgiven,” wrote Impostor. “That will show that it is okay to (be) corrupt as long as you share a little piece of the loot with the chosen people.”

“Chiz, you will not get my vote because of your stand on the Marcos burial,” Virgo Yap wrote. “You didn’t know how much we suffered during the Marcos reign of terror.”

“Reread your history please, senator, regarding Ferdinand Marcos,” Kirby suggested. “It’s only then you can tell the Filipino people if this dictator deserves to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. But I guess you are too young to remember what this President and his spouse Imelda Romualdez-Marcos inflicted on our country. Your late father, Rep. Salvador Escudero, was a known crony of the late dictator, and it’s obvious your family benefited.”

The proudest claim of the late Rep. Salvador Escudero was: “When Imelda Marcos was in a fix, she’d ask me to straighten it out,” recalled engineer Leonor Lagasca of Iloilo. “We were her magbalato or handyman.”

“Father and son are ‘parehong trapo’ or subservient clones,” wrote Traikan. “In the Bicol provinces, trapo are appropriately called basahan.”

“This only goes to show why Chiz is not yet ready for prime time and—probably never will be,” cato_the_younger wrote. “Why would someone who had killed so many and stole so much—such that the country plummeted from being the second richest in Asia to one of the poorest—get to be buried as a hero?”

This column correctly recalled that pilot Lt. Salvador Manlunas, member of Col. Jesus Villamor’s fighter squadron, was killed in action, e-mailed Celeste Yu from Mountainview, California. “Manlunas had a street named in his honor. That street has been erased because Resorts World took over.

“To local officials money is everything. Never mind the heroes. For our part, we will continue to rally against Marcos’ desire to be buried in Libingan. We should have just done an Osama bin Laden burial for Marcos—at sea—where nobody cares. Then, it would have been all worth it and forgotten.”

“Is it automatic that if one has been president, he or she is entitled to a grave in Libingan?” Pasaway Lang asked. “Will Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada, convicted (of) plunder, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, now facing charges of election fraud via ‘Hello, Garci,’ get a grave in Libingan? Go ahead, bury them. But before that, build a new cemetery to be named ‘Libingan ng Tunay na Bayani,’ and move all those interred in today’s Libingan.”

Phil Cruz: “Chiz, please tell your friends the Marcoses to just accept President Benigno Aquino’s decision not to bury Ferdinand in the Libingan… so that they can move on too. The nation has already moved on. They’re getting left behind.”

“Yes, we must remember that Senator Escudero was a supporter of Jejomar Binay in the vice-presidential election in 2010,” Elaine Gomez stressed. “And, yes, Binay also recommended that Ferdinand be buried with military honors but in Ilocos. How’s that for a compromise? The man will sleep with the devil just to get additional votes, the Ilocano votes,” Phil Cruz said.

“Chiz Escudero’s values and principles are malleable and questionable,” Phil Cruz added. “Reminds me of somebody who has been hogging all the headlines the past month. No wonder they both click. In fact, Chiz was a major pillar of this man’s political campaign. Yes, Chiz loves Vice President Jejomar Binay.”

“Some people used to say that Chiz is younger and smarter,” GUSM e-mailed. “Now we know that he is just another corruptible trapo politician. Say goodbye to your presidential ambition, Mr. Chiz, now that we know who you really are. You are supposed to be an educated man. But where is your sense of history, let alone decency?”

“The late Gen. Angelo Reyes is buried there,” Dante Catalino Garcia, wrote. “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Marcos buried there. But not everyone in Libingan is a hero.”

“Escudero’s late father was the original ‘Boy Payong’ for the Marcoses,” wrote just_me. (This referred to a chief justice who, under martial law, trotted behind Imelda, bearing her parasol.) “Everything they have was from this subservience. So what do you expect? It’s in their genes to be a Marcos minion. Will his first son be named Francis Ferdinand? Watch out, Heart.”

“A useful spinoff from this issue is we are getting to know the politicians who are for sale,” Deadly Shooter wrote. “They are selling themselves this early to prepare for the 2016 election. Beware of these pretenders.”

E-mail: juanlmercado@gmail.com

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