By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte does not consider himself a hero who deserves to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani when he dies.
The President said he prefered to be cremated, and laid to rest next to his parents’ tomb in Davao rather than be buried at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City.
“When I die I want to go where my father and mother are. Doon lang ako sa kanila kung saang sulok ng universe [I want to be with them wherever in the corner of the universe],” Duterte said in his recent visit to South Cotabato.
“Ibalik lang ninyo ako doon sa nanay pati tatay ko. Pabayani-bayani ka diyan eh hindi naman ako bayani [Bring me back to my parents. You’re trying to be a hero but I am not a hero],” he added.
Duterte said he already told his children about his wish to be cremated when he passes away. He added that he could give away his cemetery plot at the Libingan ng mga Bayani through a raffle.
“Kaya sinong gustong malibing ng diyan sa bayani — iyang Libingan ng mga Bayani? Because ang mga inilibing diyan pres — ah mga president pati mga sundalo [Who wants to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery? The people buried there are presidents and soldiers],” he said.
“Ngayon kung gusto mo ipa-raffle ko ‘yan dito ngayon, ibigay ko sa iyo ‘yang pwesto ko. Sige, ikaw magbayani-bayani diyan [Now if you want, I can raffle it today. I can give it to you. Go be a hero there],” he added.
Among the people who may be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani are Philippine presidents, Medal of Valor awardees, military chiefs of staff, soldiers, and national artists.
Duterte, who earlier claimed he no longer considers himself a Catholic, also said in jest he prefers to go to hell than heaven.
“Tsaka wala akong hilig na punta ng langit. Gusto ko sa impiyerno [I don’t want to go to heaven. I want to go to hell],” he said, hinting that that it was the place where beautiful women go.