MANILA - Will the late President Ferdinand Marcos get a hero's burial if Vice-President Jejomar Binay is elected president?
This September 28 will be the 25th death anniversary of Marcos, who died in Hawaii and whose remains are in a glass crypt in the Marcos mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Binay had earlier recommended to President Aquino that Marcos be buried with full military honors in Ilocos Norte, a recommendation that was rejected by the Marcos family.
On Wednesday, the vice-president said he is not in a position to make a decision on Marcos' final resting place.
"Ang sa akin pinaaral sa akin ni Pangulo 'yun. Nagkaroon ako ng rekomendasyon. Pero 'yung desisyon ni Pangulo importante 'yun," he said.
He added: "Yung rekomendasyon ko, siguro pagdating ng panahon na pwede akong gumawa ng desisyon."
President Aquino told reporters in New York he cannot allow President Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, with state honors befitting a former head of state and a decorated war hero.
Aquino said a hero's burial for Marcos would be unjustifiable.
“Kung bibigyan ako ng authority, hindi ako magvo-volunteer na sumagot bakit dapat ilibing doon. Wala sa kakayahan kong ipaliwanag sa taumbayan kung bakit dapat siyang bigyan ng ganoong karangalan,” he said.
Aquino cited doubts on Marcoses' war exploits, alluding to an investigation decades ago that supposedly led to the conclusion that he was not the decorated military officer he claimed to be.
He also pointed out Marcos’ 21-year strongman rule, thanks to his own imposition of Martial Law.
Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr, son of the late president, however, said his father has a right to be given a hero's burial.
"It is our continuing belief that as a soldier who fought heroically against the invaders in the Second World War and as the longest sitting president, it is my father's right to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani," he said. With a report by Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News