“In life, we make decisions that could win the day but lose the morrow, or decisions that could lose the day but win the morrow. It is my hope that this recommendation, would win the day and win tomorrow.”
– Vice-President Jejomar Binay told PNoy as he recommended military honors for the dead dictator Ferdinand Marcos
By Raïssa Robles
I was stunned especially when I got to that part of Binay’s recommendation where he described as that “partisan conflict that had long divided our people” a nation’s refusal for the last 19 years to honor a dead dictator.
It was leaked to me.
I am sharing it with you because I strongly feel it is the nation’s right and interest to know what kind of deals are being hammered behind closed doors by the political elite among themselves.
In this case, though, President Benigno Aquino III refused to be a party to it.
These are the impressions I got upon reading Binay’s memo:
First, he minimized the traumatic and vicious Marcos dictatorship.
Second, he was engaged in political horse-trading as if this was just any other deal
Third, it’s an alarming change coming from someone who fought Marcos as a human rights lawyer.
And fourth, it raises suspicions about his motives.
I was stunned especially when I got to that part of Binay's recommendation where he described as that "partisan conflict that had long divided our people" a nation's refusal for the last 19 years to honor a dead dictator.
Mr Binay, was the 1986 Edsa People Power just a "partisan conflict"?
The quest for the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses in Switzerland and elsewhere, was that just “partisan conflict,” too?
And the Hawaii judgment against Marcos on the human rights abuse cases was also just part of that “partisan conflict”?
Reading the text of Binay’s recommendation, you would have no idea it came from a human rights lawyer
In his recommendation to give Marcos military honors, Binay made it clear that his twin goals were to find “a consensus” between the Marcoses and the rest of the nation and to “finally calm the waters rather than provoke a storm.”
Binay said he wanted to find a “way we could transcend the partisanship that had characterized this issue since the February 1986 EDSA revolution.”
Perhaps Binay was swept away by his own rhetoric here. Marcos was NOT DEAD YET during the February 1986 EDSA revolution, and therefore his burial was not an issue then.
Unless Binay was talking here of the political struggle in 1986 between Marcos and the political opposition, of which Binay was a prominent member. Is Binay now calling it on hindsight a mere “partisan conflict” and not the fight between GOOD and Evil as the political opposition painted it then?
Binay said that in forming his recommendation, he took everything into account including the following:
- A House of Representatives resolution signed by 193 congressman – a sweeping majority – asking to bestow Marcos a hero’s burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani. [ABS-CBN News reported that 219 lawmakers or 3/4 of the members signed.]
- A Social Weather Stations survey showing that 50% of respondents thought Marcos was “worthy” of being buried at Libingan while 49% thought he was not. [Binay did not say whether the 1% difference was statistically significant. SWS had placed the sampling error on the national level at plus or minus 3%.[ See ABS-CBN News article on this.]
- The views from all sides expressing opposition and agreement, including those e-mailed to him, texted to his mobile phone or told to him personally.
- And finally, his face-to-face meeting with the dictator’s children – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.
Considering that Binay had three months to do his study, I thought he would submit a very thick folder on the matter. Instead, what he submitted to PNoy was only TWO PAGES, plus a Memorandum marked “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.”
In that Memo, which I guess was not to be made public, Binay disclosed he was attaching a letter from former President Fidel Ramos’ Local Governments Secretary Rafael Alunan. Binay explained Alunan’s letter to PNoy this way:
By the way, attached is a copy of the letter signed by former DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan III, dated August 26, 1992, and which was sent to Mrs. Imelda Marcos that is self-explanatory.
The letter, it now turns out, is far from being self-explanatory. See my previous post:
By giving PNoy the letter without any context or explanation from either Ramos or Alunan or both, Binay seemed to be telling PNoy that the Philippine government has an unfulfilled obligation toward the Marcoses.
That is assuming that Binay himself believed the contents of that letter – apparently obtained from the Marcos side – hook, line and sinker.
Why did Binay not even bother to call Alunan and say –
Raffy, what can you tell me about this letter you signed and gave Imelda?
I don’t know the explanation to that since I could not reach Binay. Perhaps other reporters can.
In the “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” Memo, Binay told PNoy that in his recommendation, he had avoided referring to Marcos as the Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief in order “to preclude any inference to Marcos’ presidency and any issues that may surround it.”
Binay THOUGHT that was not important to the issue of his burial?
Finally, the way Binay ends his “PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” Memo really takes the cake when he said,
I trust these notes prove useful.
To whom were those notes useful, I wonder.
Read for yourself Binay’s two-page recommendation and “Private and Confidential” Memo below.
And here’s Page 2 of Binay’s recommendation:
Finally, here’s Binay’s ‘PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” Memo to PNoy: