‘Go ahead, demonstrate vs Marcos burial at Libingan’
SHRUGGING off threats of protests, President Duterte said on Sunday he would push through with his campaign promise to have the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, frozen in a glass coffin for 23 years in his hometown, finally interred in his chosen burial ground in Metro Manila.
“As a former soldier and former President of the Philippines, I see nothing wrong in having Marcos buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Mr. Duterte told reporters during his visit to Camp Panatan in Davao City for the wake of four soldiers killed in clashes with communist guerrillas in Compostela Valley last week.
The burial at Libingan is provided by law, he said, dismissing protests by militants and victims of martial law abuses.
“They can demonstrate all they want. They can decide if it would be one month for as long as they do not deny public access to roads,” he said.
Commenting on criticisms that Marcos was never a hero-soldier as claimed, the President said it was the contrary. He said seven sources would say he was a soldier while only one would dispute it.
During the presidential campaign, he said the Marcos issue had so divided the nation and was among the reasons Filipinos could not move forward. “We should move on,” he said.
The burial was supposed to have been scheduled on Marcos’ birthday on Sept. 11 or a week after that. It is up to the family to decide the date, said Mr. Duterte, whose father served in the Marcos Cabinet.
The Marcos family has staged a remarkable political comeback since their ouster in the Edsa People Power Revolution of 1986 that swept to power the late Corazon Aquino.
On the 30th anniversary of Marcos’ ouster, the New York Times said in a front-page analysis that Filipinos, disenchanted by an insensitive and inept second Aquino administration, yearned for the “golden age” of the Philippines under martial law, prompting a spirited campaign by then President Benigno Aquino III, for the rejection of Marcos’ namesake son in the vice presidential race in May.
Ferdinand Jr. lost by a hairline to Leni Robredo, who is facing charges of widespread electoral fraud allegedly mounted by the second Aquino administration.
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