Ex-military chief wants informal settlers out of heroes' cemetery-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
MANILA -- A lawmaker who once served as military chief is seeking an investigation into the presence of informal settlers inside Libingan ng mga Bayani, a cemetery for fallen military personnel, heroes and martyrs.
In filing House Resolution 2654, Muntinlupa City Representative Rodolfo Biazon urges the House committee on national defense and security to conduct a probe to determine possible measure to be taken to address the problem on squatting at the national cemetery.
Biazon, a retired military chief of staff, said informal settlers are now occupying a large portion of the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which is classified as a national shrine.
"There is an urgent need to establish how many are already interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and how many more it can accommodate, aside from determining what to do with these informal settlers," he said.
Last month, a soldier was shot by a retired serviceman who was illegally residing at the heroes' cemetery.
Colonel Marcial Constante Jr., the commanding officer of Philippine Army Task Group Bantay (PATGB), said the suspect retired Technical Sergeant Proceso Casoy is among those who illegally constructed their houses inside the memorial park.
Constante said the suspect used to serve as a member of PATGB, the unit that is tasked to protect the memorial park from professional land grabbers.
The Republic Memorial Cemetery established in May 1947 was renamed Libingan ng mga Bayani on October 27, 1954 by President Ramon Magsaysay. It is now under the administration of a unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Deceased persons who can be interred at Libingan ng mga Bayani are presidents, national defense secretaries, active and retired military personnel of the AFP, veterans of the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the First and Second World War, as well as recognized guerillas; government dignitaries, statesman, national artists, among others. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)