Exclusive by Raïssa Robles
I would not have believed it had I not seen the pictures.
Some very observant friends in social media called my attention to the fact that a photo of Ferdinand Marcos’ coffin being lowered into the ground at Libingan ng mga Bayani seemed to have a man inside the hole where his corpse was going to be interred.
How can a man fit inside the hole when the coffin is being lowered into the hole?, I asked myself.
Many of you must have attended funerals. Many of you must have seen that the hole cut into the ground is only enough to fit the coffin. And all around the hole is bare earth.
That’s not the case with the burial ground of Ferdinand Marcos.
And those in social media who called my attention were right.
There was a man in the hole underneath while the coffin was being lowered.
Not only that, the walls were made of concrete painted all white, and not bare earth. And the hole was large enough to fit four men and Marcos’ coffin.
In addition, there seems to be an underground corridor leading to the hole.
Look closely to the left in the photo below:
I wonder where that passageway leads to.
Does it lead to another secret chamber?
Does it exit somewhere else?
And who paid for this elaborate construction?
So when Gina Policarpio posted this on Twitter:
And Congressman Edcel Lagman rushed to the Supreme Court today with a request for the body to be exhumed and examined if it’s real or made of wax, I thought – no need to exhume. After all, the body is not really buried as in buried beneath the soil.
It’s merely secreted in a secret chamber underground.
That’s why Solicitor General Jose Calida’s supposition that it’s “inhuman” to exhume Marcos’remains does not apply in this case because there really is nothing to exhume or dig up.
The Supreme Court was had by the Marcoses. When majority of them ruled that there was no legal obstacle for Marcos’ remains to be buried, I bet they meant “buried” in the traditional sense.
Not like this.
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Strangely, I had predicted this five years ago when I wrote “President Marcos’ magic tomb”.
I wrote that –
Even if the Philippine government were to bury the long dead dictator Ferdinand Marcos with military honors, his corpse might not stay buried. Because the way you and I understand the word “buried” is not the way the widow Imelda Marcos understands it.
Imelda Marcos has in her possession an engineering design for a hydraulic and refrigeration system that would continue to preserve the dictator’s body from decomposing and – for viewing purposes – would raise and lower a granite slab covering his glass coffin.
I’m not pulling your leg. I recently confirmed from sources deep inside the Marcos camp that these engineering plans still exist and would have been implemented in 1998 if then President Fidel Ramos had not put a stop to it in the dying days of his administration.
Let me rewind my story back to the beginning.
Around this time 13* years ago, the Armed Forces of the Philippines on orders of Ramos’ Defense Secretary Fortunato Abat, assisted the Marcos family in preparing a “memorial” for the dead dictator at Libingan ng mga Bayani. Five truck-loads of ready-mix concrete were poured into a 100-square meter burial plot as part of the foundation for the hydraulic system. Site preparation alone cost P3 million. NOTE – in the present context, 13 years ago was 1998.)
The burial plot was to be tiled with thick slabs of adobe. Marcos’ glass coffin would be eased into a shallow hole and topped with black granite from Italy.
And sure enough, black granite tops Marcos’ burial chamber.
How do I know all these?
Because in June 1998 I was able to interview Normandy Canlas, the architect who had designed the hydraulic system. He told me the Marcos family wanted a way to be able to view the body from time to time. Canlas also told me that his original design included a refrigeration unit. He even speculated that –
The military (which runs the cemetery) won’t likely pay for that. Maybe they’ll put a meter….it will be costly.
Well, maybe that passageway is meant to lead to the refrigeration unit. If that is the case, then there must be another entrance/exit to that underground chamber in order to be able to maintain that refrigeration unit.
You can view my original article by clicking the link above.
There’s a problem, though.
Things did not go as planned for the Marcos family. First, the waiting time for them to execute this plan took 18 more years since the cement structure was built in Libingan in 1998 to receive Marcos’ remains. And second, the Marcoses either forgot “the body” or intentionally left the body that was in dsiplay at the Batac museum.
You know, that wax body which the mortician Frank Malabed insisted was real and not wax.
So, while the Marcoses were burying what they claimed was the real Marcos’ remains in Libingan last Friday, tourists on that very day in Batac were gawking at the same wax figure that had been lying there in a glass coffin for over two decades now. The Marcoses did not charge admission for people to stare at their father’s alleged remains. But the adjacent museum charged P50 per head.
No wonder Imee Marcos could not give a straight answer to news anchor Karen Davila when she was asked whether that body on display in Batac was real or made of wax.
If the Marcos family could lie to the nation for decades about that wax figure, think what else they were and are lying about. They could also be lying about that alleged Last Will and Testament of Marcos, which allegedly asked that he be buried in Libingan.
Curiously, Normandy Canlas told me in my interview with him in June 1998 that the family considered Libingan “a temporary burial site where he will be buried as a president and soldier. In a decade or so, he will be returned to Batac and buried alongside Doña Josefa, his mother.”
To prove their claim that Marcos wanted to buried among the soldiers (many of whom he had abused and exploited during Martial Law to keep himself in power), the Marcos family showed media a copy of Marcos’ Last Will and Testament dated 1982.
ABS-CBN quoted a family lawyer, Yvette Conventio-Leynes, as saying:
“Some people say kasi na yung ‘LNMB’ is ‘Libingan ni Marcos sa Batac.’ That’s why we researched in the archives of the family. That’s the very reason why the last will and testament for the executed sometime in 1982, just to support the wishes of President Marcos that he really wanted to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.”
The will is probably authentic and Marcos must have drawn it up when he became seriously ill.
However, Marcos’ loyal military aide Colonel Arturo Aruiza, disclosed in his book Ferdinand E. Marcos: Malacanang to Makiki, that Marcos had drawn up a will in June 1988 (page 437) in Hawaii. And as any lawyer – even the ones who had not taken the bar – will tell you, the latter will supersedes the earlier will.
The interesting thing about this June 1988 will is that it was drawn up by Marcos only weeks after his beloved mother died on May 4, 1988. See – Mother`s Funeral Awaits Marcos
The Marcoses should also release this will. Perhaps Marcos had changed his mind about his final resting place. Perhaps, as some had said, he had given instructions to be buried beside his beloved mom.
Because why else would Normandy Canlas tell me that the Marcos family considered Libingan “a temporary burial site where he will be buried as a president and soldier. In a decade or so, he will be returned to Batac and buried alongside Doña Josefa, his mother.”
Maybe that was really his dying wish. Marcos died the following year 1989.