Marcos’ Widow Vows to Have Husband’s Body Buried in the Philippines With AM-Marcos Support,
Marcos’ Widow Vows to Have Husband’s Body Buried in the Philippines With AM-Marcos Support, Bjt
HONOLULU (AP) _ Imelda Marcos says she might keep the remains of Ferdinand Marcos at their Hawaiian estate until the former Philippine ruler can be buried in his homeland.
″My plan has always been to bring him back,″ Mrs. Marcos said after her husband’s death. ″I have committed myself to what is Ferdinand’s right to rest in peace in his motherland.″
Hawaii’s attorney general said it might take a court ruling to say how long Marcos’ body can remain at his Honolulu home.
Marcos, 72, died Thursday at St. Francis Medical Center after nearly nine months in the hospital. Doctors said kidney and lung failure and a widespread infection contributed to the cardiac arrest listed as the cause of death.
There were no immediate plans for burial, she said, and an aide suggested that, barring their return to the Philippines, Marcos’ remains might be above ground for a long time.
Hawaii law requires that a body be embalmed, buried or cremated within 30 hours of death, unless it is in the hands of a coroner, medical examiner or county physician.
Morticians said Marcos’s embalmed body, which has been displayed in a bronze casket in the living room of his Makiki Heights home since Thursday, could be preserved indefinitely.
″There is nothing that would prohibit the temporary display of a body in a private home if it does not create a health hazard or a nuisance,″ said state Attorney General Warren Price.
It could take a court ruling to define ″temporary,″ he said.
Philippine President Corazon Aquino has forbidden her predecessor’s return, even in death. She softened her rhetoric, however, slightly Thursday and said she may reconsider.
Meanwhile, a Philippine official said Friday that Marcos’ death could encourage his family and former associates to settle claims made by the Philippine government in an attempt to avoid costly legal battles.
″We believe that there are cronies who were prevented from cooperating because of shame, not to mention fear of the president to whom they owe so much,″ said Mateo Caparas, chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government in the Philippines.
Marcos attorney John Bartko said, ″The Marcoses have always been and remain anxious to resolve the dispute, especially since their resolution could allow his burial in the Philippines and their (Marcos’ family’s) eventual return.″
Bartko said there had been no attempts at plea bargaining in Mrs. Marcos’ U.S. criminal case and said Marcos’ death probably would have no effect on the case, since Marcos was separated from the proceedings due to his ill health.
Mrs. Marcos pleaded innocent in a New York court to federal racketeering charges alleging she and her husband stole nearly $200 million from their impoverished country and stashed it in the United States.
Mrs. Marcos continued to receive mourners at the hillside home Friday. She allowed a reporter to view her husband’s body and could be seen smoothing his hair and crying.
Several pro-Marcos Filipino congressmen, including Rep. Roque Ablan and Rep. Ali Dimoporo, left Manila on Friday for Hawaii to pay respects to Marcos.