‘Just a soldier, not a hero’ epitaph for Marcos — Duterte

June 12, 2016 (10:00AM)

IT’S FINAL. President-elect Rodrigo Duterte finally appeased the concerns of human rights groups. (Photo from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2015/07/Rodrigo-duterte.jpg)

AFTER DARK PIANO BAR, DAVAO CITY — In a quick turn of events, human rights groups have accepted the final details of the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. on September 11, 2016 in Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery).

“It’s final. F-I-N-A-L. They (human rights groups) have accepted the burial. It will be on September 11, 2016, his (Marcos Sr.’s) birth anniversary,” President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said this morning in an impromptu press conference. “There will be full military honors. He will be buried as a soldier, not as a hero.”

What finally appeased human rights advocates is an additional feature of the grave site: a monumental block of granite with an epitaph that says “JUST A SOLDIER, NOT REALLY A HERO.”

Pinagbigyan ko na ‘yung mga ‘yan (human rights groups). Para tumigil na ang dakdak ng mga put*ng *na.” (I have given in to their request so that those s*ns of b*tches will finally stop yapping.”)

A hesistant acceptance

“We still prefer that the burial will not take place, but whenever we met with Duterte, he plugs his ears with his fingers and whistles No Doubt’s Don’t Speak,” said Bonifacio Ilagan, who heads Selda, an organization of former political detainees.

“We have decided to compromise. This epitaph sends a clear message to the youth and future generations that even if Marcos had some good things to contribute to this nation, we just can’t label him a ‘hero’ in the usual sense. We conceded with heavy hearts that it’s probably okay to honor him as a soldier.”

Selda is planning to conduct a social media campaign to educate the public about Marcos Sr.’s regime, according to Ilagan. “We appeal to all who are against making Marcos Sr. a hero by posting about Martial Law injustices with the hashtags #JUSTaSOLDIER #NOTaHERO or maybe #JASNAH for short. I know it sounds awful. We’re still working on it.”

Duterte forgot about Bongbong

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., the late president’s son, has expressed dismay over the epitaph.

“This dishonors my father’s memory, and will not bring us the closure we need to ease the suffering of Marcos loyalists, to prevent sparking a decades-long civil war between Ilocanos and non-Ilocanos that will turn our cities into rubble, start a widespread famine, and destroy millions of lives, to make the Marcos name even more fragrant, to stop such a despicable and downright evil partisan exchange, and to create a population whose members will always agree with one another — as long as everyone holds the same views as those who are wealthy and powerful,” said Marcos Jr. via a video call from his private jet.

“I will immediately meet with Rody (Duterte) on Skype right after this call to set things straight. And, yes, I can Skype because my jet has its very own Wifi,” he added.

Epitaph drafts

Duterte’s spokesman and fashion stylist Atty. Salvador Panelo revealed earlier drafts of the epitaph that were rejected by the human rights groups. “We worked really hard to make it perfect. We started with ‘NOT A HERO, JUST THE BEST PRESIDENT EVER,’ ‘NOT A HERO BUT MADE SLEX, LRT 1, AND SAN JUANICO BRIDGE BY HIMSELF,’ and ‘NOT A HERO, BUT SUPER SMART.’ The final draft eventually came from Senator Alan Peter Cayetano by accident, who was talking with someone on the phone,” Panelo said.

UPDATE: Duterte has canceled plans on the epitaph but will still proceed with the burial. The final details of the burial previously released were just part of an elaborate joke that involved several lawyers, public officials, civil sector representatives, and hours of debate. “Duterte just really likes to make us laugh sometimes,” Atty. Panelo said.

(Editor’s note: This article is a satire.)