By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte said he was not interested in being buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, saying he was open to giving his plot there to someone else in exchange for P1 million to be given to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
In a speech in Malacañang on Thursday, Duterte said he does not want to buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani because he does not want to be honored or remembered after he dies.
“I do not even want to be remembered. Iyong libing ko diyan sa (My plot there)… There’s a lot there reserved for presidents. If you want, you can buy it from me,” he said.
The President said if someone was willing to give P1 million to PGH, he would be more than happy to give them the plot in exchange.
“Give one million to PGH and I’ll…execute a waiver. I’ll give it to you,” he said.
Duterte has repeatedly said he wants to be cremated and his ashes put next to his parents’ tombs in Davao City instead of being interred at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.
“Just burn me when the time comes. Twenty-four hours, no vigil. And then itapon mo lang ‘yung (spread my ashes) — and leave a part beside my mother’s urn,” he said. “I’m not into this publicity. Nahihiya ako, eh (I’m shy).”
In a speech in March last year, Duterte said he already told his children about his wish to be cremated when he passes away. He added 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… mga president pati mga sundalo,” he said. (Who wants to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery? The people buried there are presidents and soldiers.)
“Ngayon, kung gusto mo ipa-raffle ko ‘yan dito ngayon, ibigay ko sa iyo ‘yang pwesto ko. Sige, ikaw magbayani-bayani diyan,” he added. (Now if you want, I can raffle it off today, I’ll give you my plot. Go ahead, you play at being a hero there).
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.