My exclusive analysis
By Raïssa Robles
It sure seems like he did.
When Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay gave President Benigno Aquino III his recommendation to bury Ferdinand Marcos with “military honors,” a smoking-gun document was attached to his recommendation, according to sources I interviewed.
My sources came from all sides of the issue, including the Marcos camp.
The document was to show that the Philippine government had promised the Marcos family way back in August 1992 to bury the dead dictator with military honors.
This is the promise that the Marcoses had been nagging PNoy to fulfill.
The problem is that Binay did not tell PNoy the entire story behind this document, which is an agreement between then President Fidel Ramos and the Marcoses. From what my sources told me, Binay did not put the document in context.
In other words, if you read only this document, you will really think that the Marcoses have the right to be very angry with the government for not fulfilling its end of the bargain.
But the one whose signature is on the document told me that he recalled Imelda Marcos making a handwritten note on this document. You will see that this note in Imelda Marcos’ own handwriting is missing from this very document that Binay gave PNoy.
In addition, behind this document were verbal promises made by both parties. Taken altogether, these would mean that it was the Marcoses who had broken their end of the bargain, and not the Philippine government.
Binay’s office refused to give me a copy of the document
I tried to get a copy of this document from Binay’s office after he had recommended “full military honors” for Marcos.
Unable to reach him directly, I personally phoned his spokesman Joey Salgado to please give me a copy of the recommendation Binay had submitted to PNoy, along with the attachments.
I also tried to ask Salgado questions about the attached document.
Salgado said he could not answer my questions nor could he fulfill my request to release them since both the recommendation to the president and the accompanying document were “confidential”.
I told him the documents were not a matter of national security so I could not see why they could not be released.
He told me to ask Malacañang Palace instead.
And so I asked the Palace to release them both officially. I got promises to have these cleared with PNoy, but these were not officially released to me.
Hmmm. I guess this was the price I had to pay for asking PNoy if he plays video games.
Out of the blue, though, one of my sources leaked the document to me.
Before I go any further, I’d like you to read it yourself so we can discuss it together. Here it is below:
First of all, the document was dated August 26, 1992 and signed by Rafael Alunan, the Local Government Secretary then of President Fidel Ramos.
Alunan told me earlier that Ramos had assigned him to deal directly with Imelda Marcos on the burial issue.
Ramos told me the same thing in my interview with him last June entitled:
Part I: Fidel Ramos told me Imelda Marcos waived burial at Libingan, a state funeral and full military honors
Ramos also told me that he recalled imposing the following three preconditions on the Marcos family in exchange for the return of the body. First, it would NOT be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani but would bypass Manila and be transported directly to Ilocos Norte. Second, it would be “given the honors befitting a major of the armed forces.” And third, it would be buried at once.
Ramos told me:
The major stipulation was signed by Imelda Marcos and Alunan. His remains shall be buried at the family burial grounds in Batac itself…The remains shall be buried on the 9th of September more or less, depending on the arrival of the direct flight.
At that time they were still negotiating clearances from the US FAA (Federal Aviation Authority).
I asked Ramos what kind of written agreement was signed by Alunan and Imelda Marcos. Ramos paused to think and said, “to my recollection it was an MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) or MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Alunan and Imelda.”
Ramos said he was not there when the agreement was signed because his presence was not needed since it was such a low-level document.
So I asked Alunan if he could recall that document he had signed with Mrs. Marcos.
At first, Alunan told me that he did not sign any MOA or MOU with Mrs Marcos. Initially, he said that as far as he could recall, everything between them was verbal.
However, I asked him to check again. He got back to me and said:
Raissa, I did some research to check if I did sign an MOU with Imelda. Blame it on E.D.A.D. I don’t have it but I was informed that it matched what you wrote about. He was supposed to be buried on sep. 9, 1992 but mrs marcos wrote on the MOU “temporarily interred” which was considered an acceptable compromise at the time. The MOU was signed in Aug ’92. Hope we can put this dead issue to rest so to speak as there’s really no point in resurrecting it.
“Sent via BlackBerry from Smart”
I asked him if he had a copy of the MOU and he replied:
Yes i am informed that I did sign an MOU with Imelda Marcos in Aug ’92. No, like I said, I don’t have it. I’ll try to get a copy but that’s would be a long shot. Most likely it’s in the Presidential archives in Malacanan. Enough has been said of this matter and should not be resurrected. Imelda did agree to those points I stated earlier except that in the case of the burial on sept. 9, ’92 she indicated “temporarity interred.” that’s all I have so, i’m signing off.
I asked Malacañang Palace for a copy of the said MOU and was told it didn’t have it.
And then, VOILA!
A letter to Imelda Marcos with Alunan’s signature on it surfaced as an attachment to Binay’s recommendation to PNoy.
Without Ramos and Alunan’s explanations of what had transpired, this document gives everyone the impression that the government has an unfulfilled obligation to the Marcoses.
I asked Alunan to clarify the promised “military honors”
Among the questions I had asked Alunan via e-mail were the following –
1. Were military honors actually given to Marcos’ body? I learned yesterday that a seven-gun salute was given to the body. But the person I talked to (not Pres. Ramos) could not say whether it was given plane-side as the body was transferred to a caisson or during the wake.
2. Do you think the military honors given to Marcos’ body upon its arrival already satisfy the demands of the congressmen to give Marcos military honors? [Note: I was referring here to the House of Representatives resolution urging Marcos’ burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani with full military honors.]
3. Why did the Ramos administration, especially you as DILG secretary, never compel the Marcoses to actually bury his body between 1993 and 1998 as per prior agreement?
Alunan gave the following reply via Blackberry:
The AFP provided honors befitting a major but Marcos’ retired generals gave unofficial full military honors at his “burial”/entombment. Gun salutes are not done plane-side for safety and security reasons.. The answer to the second question is yes since FVR’s decision in 1993 was official. As for the third point, that he wasn’t buried is the Marcos family’s call. I believe FVR gave them that allowance for political reasons.
Then Alunan e-mailed me again:
As for the second question I leave that to the incumbent administration to tackle and find out for themselves given the Marcos’ track record of telling the truth.
I sure would like to hear Binay’s explanation on the document and why he did not talk to Ramos or Alunan about it.
Marcoses broke promise to bury FM’s body at once in Ilocos – Fidel Ramos
Part I: Fidel Ramos told me Imelda Marcos waived burial at Libingan, a state funeral and full military honors
Part 2: PH gov’t bestowed Marcos’ body military honors in 1993 – Rafael Alunan
Part 3: Ferdinand Marcos’ magic tomb
This might help i have a letter of then President elect Estrada approving the burial of Pres Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani i am trying to post it here but i cant paste it here
copy it word for word na lang.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES COMPLEX MANILA. June 21 1998. Dear Mrs Marcos. I am writing you and your heirs concerning the burial of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. I have decided to grant permission upon my assumption to office,for his remains to be interred at the military cemetery in Fort Bonifacio.My motivation is simple i hope that by finally laying to rest his mortal remains the decade-long turmoil over this issue will subside. We can face our uncertain future as a united nation. I am confident we can agree that it is in everyone’s interest to keep the funeral rites as simple and solemn as possible.I have therefore decided to state the condition under which my agreement to the burial would be forthcoming. 1.The remains will be ferried to Villamor Airbase and forthwith brought to the cemetery for burial.There shall be no stops and no organize group shall be allowed along the route to the cemetery. 2.The funeral shall be limited to the immediate Marcos family members of not more than fifty (50) persons. 3.The rites should be religious in nature; no political statement should be made. These are my general conditions. I have instructed my Defense Secretary-designate Orlando Mercado to meet with you or your representatives to discuss other details. I hope that i can count on your understanding and cooperation in this regard. Very truly yours Signed. JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA
Does the approval of the Pres Estrada supercedes the letter of Sec Alunan
Capt./Lt. Ferdinand E. Marcos really a war hero in the Philippines in WW II? Is there truth or any doubt about this?
I have heard of this story long ago since about 1965-66 and on into the late ending of 1986. I personally and obviously do not know is he was a hero or not.
In the NEW YORK TIMES publication Jan. 23, 1986 (ww.nytimes.com/1986/01/23/world/marcos-wartime-role-discredited-in-t) it goes like this:
” WASHINGTON, Jan. 22— The Army concluded after World War II that claims by Ferdinand E. Marcos that he had led a guerrilla resistance unit during the Japanese occupation of his country were ”fraudulent” and ”absurd.”
“But documents that had rested out of public view in United States Government archives for 35 years show that repeated Army investigations found no foundation for Mr. Marcos’s claims that he led a guerrilla force called Ang Mga Maharlika in military operations against Japanese forces from 1942 to 1944.”
“Mr. Marcos declined today to respond to six written questions about the United States Government records, which came to light only recently. The questions were submitted to Mr. Marcos’s office this morning in Manila.”
“After repeated telephone calls to the Presidential Palace this afternoon, an aide explained that Mr. Marcos was busy with meetings and a campaign appearance and ”didn’t have the opportunity to look into the question.” The aide said the President might have a response later.”
“Between 1945 and 1948 various Army officers rejected Mr. Marcos’s two requests for official recognition of the unit, calling his claims distorted, exaggerated, fraudulent, contradictory and absurd. Army investigators finally concluded that Maharlika was a fictitious creation and that ”no such unit ever existed” as a guerrilla organization during the war.”
“In addition, the United States Veterans’ Administration, helped by the Philippine Army, found in 1950 that some people who had claimed membership in Maharlika – pronounced mah-HAHR-lick-kuh – had actually been committing ”atrocities” against Filipino civilians rather than fighting the Japanese and had engaged in what the V.A. called ”nefarious activity,” including selling contraband to the enemy. The records include no direct evidence linking Mr. Marcos to those activities.”
“Alfred W. McCoy, a historian, discovered the documents among hundreds of thousands of others several months ago while at the National Archives researching a book on World War II in the Philippines. Dr. McCoy was granted the access normally accorded to scholars, and when he came upon the the Maharlika files he was allowed to review and copy them along with others. Archives officials did not learn what the documents contained until after they were copied Richard J. Kessler, a scholar on the Philippines at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington, said, ”Marcos’s military record was one of the central factors in his developing a political power base.” A War Hero at Home”
“The issue of Mr. Marcos’s medals is not addressed in the Army records.”
“Shortly after the war, the Army did recognize the claims of 111 men who were listed on the Maharlika roster submitted by Mr. Marcos, but their recognition was only for their services with American forces after the invasion of Luzon in January 1945. One document says the service that Mr. Marcos and 23 other men listed as Maharlika members gave to the First Cavalry Division in the spring of 1945 was ”of limited military value.”
“The Army records include conflicting statements on whether the United States intended to recognize the 111 men as individuals or as a Maharlika unit attached to American forces after the invasion. It is clear throughout the records that at no time did the Army recognize that any unit designating itself as Maharlika ever existed as a guerrilla force in the years of the Japanese occupation, 1942 to 1945.”
“These officers served in the Philippines during the war, supervising Filipino guerrillas in the areas where Mr. Marcos said his unit had operated. Even though most of them say they are strong supporters of Mr. Marcos today – one, Robert B. Lapham of Sun City, Ariz., said he spent 90 minutes with Mr. Marcos while in Manila last week -the officers also confirmed the basic findings in the records and said they had not been aware of Maharlika’s activities during the war. They also said they had not known of Mr. Marcos as a guerrilla leader until they read his claims later. ‘This Is Not True’ ”
“Ray C. Hunt Jr., a 66-year-old former Army captain who directed guerrilla activites in Pangasinan Province north of Manila during the war, said: ”Marcos was never the leader of a large guerrilla organization, no way. Nothing like that could have happened without my knowledge.”
“Mr. Hunt, interviewed at his home in Orlando, Fla., said he took no position in the current Phillipine election campaign, although he believed Mr. Marcos ”may be the lesser of two evils.”m
“Still, as he read through the records for the first time, including Mr. Marcos’s own description of Maharlika’s wartime activities, he said: ”This is not true, no. Holy cow. All of this is a complete fabrication. It’s a cock-and-bull story.</b?'' Cock-Bull mine.
"Today Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard L. Armitage, the senior Pentagon official in charge of military relations with the Philippines, said his aides had been unable to find any record that the original Army decision denying benefits to Maharlika had been challenged or investigated after the 1948 ruling. ''Subsequent to '48 I am unaware of any further appeals,'' he said."
"Donna St. John, a spokesman for the Veterans' Administration, said, ''We're not paying any benefits to Ferdinand Marcos.''
"Most of the document is written in the third person and describes a variety of exploits by Maharlika and Mr. Marcos, who was in his twenties at the time. ''It seemed as if the Japanese were after him alone and not after anyone else,'' it says at one point, referring to Mr. Marcos. The author is never identified, but in two places he lapses into the first person in discussing Mr. Marcos's exploits, indicating the writer was Mr. Marcos." [The 29-page document as 'the application' written by Marcos]
"The official records indicate that the Army grew suspicious of Mr. Marcos's claims right away. Mr. Marcos contended that he had been in a northern province ''in the first days of December 1944 on an intelligence mission'' and was not able to get back to Maharlika headquarters at that time because the American invasion force on Luzon cut him off from Manila."
"But in the first recorded response to Mr. Marcos's recognition request, in September 1945, Maj. Harry McKenzie of the Army noted that the American invasion of Luzon had not actually begun until a month later and ''could not have influenced his abandoning his outfit.''
"As a result, Major McKenzie suggested an ''inquiry into the veracity'' of Mr. Marcos's claims. And almost two years later, the Army wrote Mr. Marcos to notify him of the official finding that his application for recognition ''is not favorably considered.'' Why the U.S. Said No."
"* Maharlika had not actually been in the field fighting the Japanese and had not ''contributed materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.''
* Maharlika had no ''definite organization'' and ''adequate records were not maintained.''
* Maharlika was not controlled adequately ''because of the desertion of its commanding officer,'' Mr. Marcos, who eventually joined an American military unit while in northern Luzon at the time of the American invasion.
* Maharlika could not possibly have operated over the wide area it claimed because of problems of terrain, communications and Japanese ''antiresistance activities.''
* ''Many members apparently lived at home, supporting their families by means of farming or other civilian pursuits and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part-time basis only.''
"x x x But one document, dated May 31, 1945, says 6 officers and 18 men led by Mr. Marcos and indentifying themselves as Maharlika had ''been employed by this unit,'' the Army's First Cavalry Division, ''guarding the regimental supply dump and performing warehousing details.'' Their work, the document added, was ''of limited military value.''
"In 1982 and 1983 journalists in the Philippines and the United States, as well as Representative Lane Evans, Democrat of Illinois, tried to determine the validity of the American awards to Mr. Marcos, including the two Bataan-related medals. The Pentagon, in replying in 1984 to Mr. Evans, noted that no official ''citations for these awards'' could be found, but ''they were both attested to in affidavits by the Assistant Chief of Staff'' of the Philippine Army."
"After he was turned down, Mr. Marcos asked for reconsideration. An Army captain, Elbert R. Curtis, inquired further but concluded that ''the immensity'' of Mr. Marcos's claim that Maharlika served over the entire island of Luzon was ”absurd.” Bold mine.
“After checking intelligence records, Captain Curtis wrote that there was no mention of Maharlika being a source of intelligence information. He wrote that the unit roster was a fabrication, that ”no such unit ever existed” and that Mr. Marcos’s claims about Maharlika were ”fraudulent,” ”preposterous” and ”a malicious criminal act.”
“Another Army document said Maharlika ”possessed no arms prior to the arrival of the Americans” despite Mr. Marcos’ claim that the unit had 474 assorted weapons and 3,825 rounds of ammunition. The second investigation concluded that ”it is quite obvious that Marcos did not exercise any control over a guerrilla organization prior to liberation” in January 1945.”
“Although there is no record that Mr. Marcos filed any further objections to those 1948 findings, another Filipino, Cipriano S. Allas, who was listed as a senior Maharlika officer, wrote the Army in 1947 asking for reconsideration of the unit. That request was denied, too.”
“Mr. Allas said he had commanded Maharlika’s intelligence section. But numerous American officers and Filipinos who were interviewed by Army, Veterans’ Administration and Philippine investigators said Mr. Allas and some of his men had in fact been selling commodities to the Japanese during the war.”
“In a 1947 Army document titled ”Report on Ang Mga Maharlika,” Lieut. William D. MacMillan wrote that two American officers, including Mr. Lapham, and one Filipino officer had told investigators that ”they had heard” Mr. Marcos’s name ”in connection with the buy and sell activities of certain people,” referring to the black-market sales to the Japanese, but that the three had added that they had no firm information about Mr. Marcos.”
“In a file titled ”Guerrilla Bandits and Black Marketeers,” a Philippine Army document concluded that Mr. Allas and several other men listed on the Maharlika roster ”engaged themselves in the purchases and sale of steel cables,” an important wartime commodity, to the Japanese. ‘What a Farce!’ ”
“A United States Veterans’ Administration investigation concluded that some men who claimed membership in Maharlika and another organization were ”hoodlums” who had committed ”atrocities” and were ”tied together only for nefarious reasons.”
“One man who said he was a member of Maharlika told investigators that the unit ”had committed themselves to trafficking in the sale of critical war materials to the brutal enemy,” the report said, ”but only to provide means of watching that enemy.”
”What a farce!” the V.A. investigator concluded.
“None of the former officers interviewed this week said they remembered any involvement by Mr. Marcos in the black-market activities or abuses of civilians.”
“Mr. Hunt said he met Mr. Marcos only once during the war, sometime in 1944. A Filipino military officer ”brought him into my guerrilla headquarters,” Mr. Hunt recalled. ”He was barefoot, unarmed. We talked for 15 or 20 minutes about this or that. He was never identified to me as a guerrilla, and we didn’t talk about guerrilla activities.”
”I had no further contact with him,” Mr. Hunt added, ”and I didn’t hear anything more about him.”
Did VP Binay make any efforts to this NYTimes report dated Jan. 23, 1986 to check for truth whether FM is a hero or not?
Politics or no politics, I would have if I were the one commissioned by PNoy to make a recommendation whether FM should be laid to rest as a hero and given military honors etc. And maybe get all the hatred for what I’d recommend in honest truth of the whole WW II story of FM.
Link of NYTimes
What is the truth? – How A Traitor Became A Dictator – The Marcos Myths of World War 2
Marcos Blasts U.S. Reports He Was a Phony War Hero : American Records Fail to Back Him
January 23, 1986|From Times Wire Services
Ferdinand Marcos’ so-called Medal of Valor – the Philippines’ highest war medal awarded to a soldier for bravery – is “highly suspicious”, military historian Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose said.
If Binay VP did try to mislead PNoy, Binay VP will try to mislead Pinoys!
Thanks Raissa Robles.
Did Fidel Ramos really believe the family of his first cousin were capable of living up to any of their commitments?
Did they really have any right whatsoever to demand any arrangements only suited to their warped whims?
With al the plunder they did and still keep for themselves, they actually don’t even deserve to be allowed to BEG for the carcass to be transported to Ilocos by the sea and fed to the sharks.
Manuel C. Diaz says
Marcos body should have been tied on a post and shot by a firing squad not 21 gun salute. Marcos should be given similar treatment to Cromwell a British usurper and a dictator whose body was exhumed and hanged!
Manuel C. Diaz says
Marcos body should have been tied to a post and shot by a firing squad not 21 gun salute. Marcos should be given similar treatment to Cromwell a British usurper and a dictator whose body was exhumed and hanged
Ang problema, ang mga tao ngayon nag wisen up na nga, wisen up to recieve money tuwing election. Lahat naman ng mga kandidato tuwing election namimili ng boto sa ibat ibang paraan kaya di tayo makapili ng mabuting candidato para sa posisyon. Dapat din sana pagkatapos ng election, lahat ng mga natalo mag cooperate at makipagtulungan sa mga kandidatong nanalo para maibigay sa mga pilipino ang mga kinakailangang ibigay para mamuhay na tiwasay at maunlad na bayan. Wag na sana pointing of fingers on who did this and that. What we need is a true democracy and cooperation to be successful.
Bakit hindi dapat ilibing si Marcos sa LNMB?
1. Dahil buhay pa si Marcos at mga kampon niya…este…ang Marcos Ideology ang tinutukoy ko.
2. Dahil hindi lang ang pangalan niya ay “Bayani” kungdi si Marcos ay hindi naman talaga bayani.
3. Dahil ayokong makapiling ni Levi Celerio at Nick Joaquin si Marcos.
4. Dahil…wala lang…ayokong mailibing doon si Marcos dahil naging isa siyang diktador.
Buti na lamang ay nasa Taguig ang LNMB…
Dahil kung ang ‘himlayan’ ay nasa Makati…
Baka ngayo’y tatawagin na siyang “Libingan ng mga Binay.”
Ang LNMB ay minsan nang naging pre-wedding pictorial (o pre-nup photo shoot) venue.
Nguni’t, datapuwa’t, subali’t, ang LNMB ay sadyang inilaan para sa himlayan ng mga yumaong magigiting:
‘Facts’ coming from Alquiza through Pascual:
mga bayani ba talaga ang nililibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani? Marami rin sa kanila ay corrupt..palitan na lang ang pangalan nito….LIbingan ng mga Sundalo. then… Saka ilibing si Marcos.
you’re kidding, right?
why don’t we just put up a separate cemetery and call it – Plunderers’ Row.
. . . or The Burying Fields of Unknown Corrupt Soldiers
he he he