MANILA, Aug 29 (Mabuhay) – National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday revealed that the government will not be spending anything for the planned hero’s burial of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos, except for the military honors.
“Hindi. Ang gastos lang natin ay iyong [military] honors. There will be no money spent on transportation of the cadaver. Sa kanila iyon [Marcos family],” he told reporters in an ambush interview at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Details for the Marcos burial are yet to be finalized as the Supreme Court (SC) issued a 20-day status quo ante order on August 23.
President Rodrigo Duterte has backed the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite protests from Martial Law victims.
The SC will hear oral arguments on the issue on Wednesday, August 31, at 10 a.m.
Among those expected to participate in the oral arguments is the Adjutant General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to an advisory released by the high court last Friday.
The SC cited the need for “technical clarification” on processes and application for burial at the Libingan in directing the AFP official or his representatives to attend the hearing.
Duterte had said Marcos deserves a place at the Libingan because the latter was a soldier and a former president.
Meanwhile, after he declined to return to the US to be the Philippines’ envoy, Delfin Lorenzana hinted that President Duterte has already picked one to take the crucial post.
Just like Lorenzana, the next Filipino ambassador to the US will also be from the military.
“Meron na. I will wait [for the announcement]. Akala ko kanina i-announce niya eh… Hindi ako. Tinanggihan ko na iyan,” he told reporters in a chance interview at the Libingan ng mga Bayani after the National Heroes Day ceremonies.
“Yeah, military din… Hindi siya [former Gen. Hermogenes Esperon]. He will remain as the [national security adviser]. I-announce naman iyan ni Presidente,” Lorenzana further explained.
In a speech made during the oath-taking of his newly appointed generals and flag officers of the AFP on August 19, Duterte teased that he had offered Lorenzana to be the Filipino envoy to the US pointing out his past experience as the military attaché to the same country.
But later the President revealed that Lorenzana declined to accept the post because he already wanted to settle in the Philippines. (MNS)