Former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has been buried in the national Heroes’ Cemetery. His belated burial with military honors was a campaign pledge of the recently-elected president, Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried in the national Heroes’ Cemetery on Friday, 10 days after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions to stop his internment in the cemetery.
Marcos controlled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, when he was removed in a revolt and forced to flee to Hawaii. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989. Marcos’ body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and stored in a refrigerated crypt in a mausoleum in his hometown of Batac, 470 kilometers (292 miles) north of Manila. Marcos’ body was flown by helicopter from Batac to the cemetery, where he received a 21-gun salute before Friday’s service.
Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said Marcos received a heroes’ funeral with military honors. “It will be a very simple burial. Military honors will be given to him,” said Albayalde.
During his election campaign, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hadpromised a hero’s burial for Marcos, an issue that has divided the nation for decades. In less than six months in office, Duterte has also launched a lethal extrajudicial crackdown on drug-related crime, threatened withdrawal from the UN, pledged looser ties to the US, and made overtures towards Russia and China, part of what he calls an “independent foreign policy.”
The announcement came as a shock to opponents of Marcos. Human rights groups opposed the burial due to his actions while leader of the Philippines. During Marcos’ rule, his family amassed approximately $10 billion (9.43 billion euros) in ill-gotten wealth and thousands of alleged communist rebels and political opponents were killed.
“This is shocking and appalling,” said Barry Gutierrez, one of the lawyers for the petitioners in the Supreme Court case. “This is being done in a very sneaky manner and it just shows the character of the Marcoses.”
Activist Bonifacio Ilgan, who was detained and tortured during Marcos’ rule, protested the funeral and said Marcos was being buried “like a thief in the night.”
kbd/msh (AP, dpa, Reuters)