President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he is willing to sell his presidential burial plot at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in exchange for P1 million donation to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).
The President made the offer in a speech during the oathtaking of some 193 new government officials at Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace on Thursday afternoon.
Also present during the oathtaking were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.
“Iyong libing ko diyan sa may — p***** i** may libing na ako na naka prepara sa akin diyan sa …. There’s a lot there reserved for presidents. If you want, you can buy it from me. Magbigay ka lang ng mga almost… Give one million to PGH and I’ll — I’ll execute a waiver. I’ll give it to you,” Duterte said.
“Tutal ako, just burn me when the time comes. Twenty-four hours, no vigil. And then itapon mo lang ‘yung — and leave a part beside my mother’s urn. ‘Yan lang ang ano ko. Hindi ako nag-a-ano. I do not — I’m not into this publicity. Nahihiya ako eh,” he added.
Also during his speech, the President raised the need to improve the country’s healthcare infrastructure and services.
He challenged the new public officials to check the condition of local hospitals.
“Try to visit. Hamon ko lang ito sa inyo, hamon ko lang. Try to visit ‘yung mga ospital lalo na kung may contagion,” the President said.
“Nasa sahig ‘yan sila lahat. Even sa emergency room dito, mag-ano kayo ng gabi. ‘Yung ibang pasyente maghintay. They are lying there in the throes of death on the floor. Tingnan ninyong mabuti. ‘Yun ang sabi ko na unahin natin pag-ano,” he added.
The Heroes’ Cemetery, officially known as LNMB, is a national cemetery within Fort Bonifacio in Western Bicutan, Taguig City.
First established in May 1947 as a fitting resting place for Filipino military personnel from privates to generals who served during World War II, it eventually became designated as the official place of burial for deceased Philippine presidents, national heroes, patriots, national artists and national scientists.
Among those buried in the cemetery are Filipino soldiers who died during the liberation of the Philippines in World War II from 1941 to 1945.
Among the Filipino leaders and dignitaries buried there are Presidents Elpidio Quirino, Carlos P. Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal; former Vice President Salvador H. Laurel; generals Artemio Ricarte and Carlos P. Romulo; Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes; and former Senate President and proclaimed Vice President Arturo Tolentino and Blas Ople.
Former President Ferdinand Marcos is the most recent president to be buried there, after the Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed petitions against his burial on 8 November 2016.