Former President Ferdinand Marcos was finally laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) yesterday, the 18th November 2016. The “secret” funeral rites caught everyone by surprise and sent the usual anti-Marcos mobs on an eleventh-hour protest frenzy. The funeral itself was a dignified affair involving full military honours.
The dignity with which it was conducted would have been the very reason why it had to be kept “secret”. Filipinos after all, specially those associated with the emotionalism of the Yellow camp, are not really known for quiet and dignified politically-motivated funerals. The fact that a Supreme Court ruling junking their petition to block Marcos’s burial at the LNMB demonstrates that even institutionally-applied rules do not move them. Indeed, flamboyant necropolitics has come to characterise the last 30 years of politics in the Philippines because of a culture of political emotionalism that routinely trumps logic and rationality.
Anti-Marcos “activists”, their minds imprisoned by their inbred notions of what they consider to be “right”, cannot seem to comprehend the thinking behind having to keep the Marcos funeral low-key. In fact, there really was no “secret” behind it. The intent to bury Marcos at the LNMB was, itself, 30 years in the making with successive Philippine governments over those three decades not implementing any concrete measures to prevent it. Furthermore, it formed a key part of the campaign platform of current President Rodrigo Duterte who, as even the most rabid anti-Marcos folk admit, did deliver on that promise.
Politics is a tough game. Those who are most clever win. The 30-year journey of the former President’s remains from Ilocos to the LNMB involved exceptional astuteness, patience, and strategic acumen on the part of the Marcos family. The stealth funeral we saw yesterday was a tactical execution that rightly-so blindsided everyone. Indeed, whilst the anti-Marcos people use the word “blindsided” like it was a bad thing, from another more objective perspective, it can be regarded as an exemplar of quiet achievement that, yet again, reveals just how inept and disorganised the anti-Marcos mob is.
While the anti-Marcos mobs think in terms of 15-day “grace periods” for appeals and temporary restraining orders (TROs), the camp of the Marcoses and that of President Rodrigo Duterte think in terms of decades-long timeframes in the manner with which they execute towards their goals. That sort of long-term strategic execution acumen results, in the case of the latter, in an excellent urban community such as Davao City and, in the case of the earlier, final closure and peace for a man who was a Philippine president and a soldier.
[Photo courtesy Manila Bulletin.]