LOOK: Marcos burial photos past and present

MANILA, Philippines – When the “remains” of former president Ferdinand Marcos were buried on November 18, 2016, what exactly were buried? Was it his embalmed body preserved at the family’s mausoleum in Batac, his bones, or was it a replica of the real body?

Many who viewed the pictures closely noticed the size of his coffin, which was considerably narrower and smaller compared to previous coffins seen in older photos.

Marcos died on September 28, 1989, at the age of 72, succumbing to lupus while in exile in Hawaii. It’s been more than 27 years and only what is referred to as “long-term embalming” – common among dead leaders from socialist and dictatorial regimes like Russia and China – could have preserved Marcos’ body.

But recent visitors to the Marcos mausoleum were surprised to see him there at around the same time that burial rites were ongoing in Manila. Earlier reports said what is in the mausoleum is actually just a wax replica of Marcos' body.

Historian and anthropologist Dr Antonio Montalvan II said in late August he had been told the real body had already been buried “underneath the glass coffin” – which means that what could have been transported to the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18 were just the bones – and not the preserved body – of the former dictator.

A source involved in the preparations for Marcos' burial maintained that it was still the former president's preserved body that was interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. But the source explained that they left a decoy at the Marcos masoleum on the day of the burial.

"Friday early morning, the body was switched. So 'yung katawan na nandun na nakita ng media was actually a decoy. It was a replica. So the reason why they opened the mausoleum at 11 am [on Friday] is to show na it’s normal, andun ba yung katawan ang everything. Alam ko there’s 2 or 3 replicas nung katawan," said the source.

(The body was switched early Friday morning. So the body seen by the media was a decoy. It was a replica. So the reason why they opened the mausoleum at 11 am on Friday was to show that things were normal and to answer questions whether or not the body is there. I know there are 2 or 3 replicas of the body.)

The source said that if one looks at Marcos' coffin from the top view, the dimensions fit the former president's body shape.

"I’m actually tempted to say that if the coffin is filled with chocolates and candies, people would believe me. But I bet on my life that it’s really the actual body [that was buried]," added the source. 

Here are pictures from the past and the present. Compare and spot the differences as controversy continues to surround the former dictator even in death.

IN HAWAII. Monsignor Domingo Nebres reads his benediction as the body of Marcos is removed on September 1, 1993 from the mausoleum where he lay in state since dying in exile in 1989. AFP file photo

IN HAWAII. Monsignor Domingo Nebres reads his benediction as the body of Marcos is removed on September 1, 1993 from the mausoleum where he lay in state since dying in exile in 1989.

AFP file photo

IN LAOAG. The coffin of Marcos is carried to a stage by his son Bongbong and retired military generals at the Laoag airport on September 7, 1993. Imelda Marcos and her 2 daughters are in black. AFP file photo

IN LAOAG. The coffin of Marcos is carried to a stage by his son Bongbong and retired military generals at the Laoag airport on September 7, 1993. Imelda Marcos and her 2 daughters are in black.

AFP file photo

HOME. Former first lady Imelda Marcos sprinkles holy water on the flag-draped coffin of her late husband at the Saint William Cathedral on September 7, 1993. AFP file photo

HOME. Former first lady Imelda Marcos sprinkles holy water on the flag-draped coffin of her late husband at the Saint William Cathedral on September 7, 1993.

AFP file photo

WAX OR EMBALMED? This file photo taken on March 26, 2010 shows Imelda Marcos looking at what was believed to be the embalmed body of her husband Ferdinand Marcos. AFP file photo

WAX OR EMBALMED? This file photo taken on March 26, 2010 shows Imelda Marcos looking at what was believed to be the embalmed body of her husband Ferdinand Marcos.

AFP file photo

Photo from Marcos Presidential Center
Photo from Marcos Presidential Center
Photo from Marcos Presidential Center
Photo from Marcos Presidential Center

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