Duterte plan for Marcos hero’s burial sparks outrage

/ 06:24 PM May 24, 2016
Presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Plans by the Philippines’ controversial incoming president to give late dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial triggered outrage on Tuesday, with martial law victims warning it would whitewash the strongman’s crimes.

Rodrigo Duterte, who won this month’s elections in a landslide, announced on Monday he would allow Marcos to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery in Manila, in what would be another big win for the dictator’s family as it cements a remarkable political comeback.


READ: Duterte on Marcos’ burial at heroes’ cemetery: It will erase one hatred in PH

“Burying him at the (cemetery) will whitewash all crimes he committed against the people and will send the wrong message to the world: that in the Philippines, crime pays,” Bonifacio Ilagan, who was detained and tortured by Marcos forces, told AFP.


Ilagan, who heads a group trying to stop the Marcos family from returning to power, said the highly emotional and symbolic burial of the dictator at the cemetery — where the nation’s most revered war heroes have been laid to rest — would trigger street protests.

Marcos’ two-decade rule ended in 1986 when millions of people took to the streets in a famous military-backed “People Power” uprising, forcing the family into US exile where the patriarch died three years later.

Marcos and his wife Imelda were accused of plundering $10 billion from state coffers and overseeing widespread human rights abuses by security forces. Rights groups say Marcos’s forces killed or tortured thousands of people.

However Imelda and her children were allowed to return and over the past two decades have enjoyed a stunning rise back into the political elite while fending off a barrage of lawsuits and criminal probes.

Imelda is a congresswoman representing the family’s northern provincial stronghold, while Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was elected to the Senate in 2010.

Marcos Jr. ran for the vice presidency in this month’s elections against Rep. Leni Robredo but the winner has yet to be proclaimed.

Duterte said Monday he wanted to have the body of Marcos, currently embalmed and enclosed in a glass casket, to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery to end decades of divisions in society over the issue.


However Nilda Lagman-Sevilla, chairwoman of a group of families whose relatives vanished under Marcos’s rule, said healing would only come from discovering what happened to their loved ones and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Her brother, a human rights lawyer who vanished in 1977, is among 882 people who disappeared under Marcos’ rule, according to the group.

“They (the families of people who vanished) are still in pain because of the absence of closure,” Lagman-Sevilla said.


Duterte favors burying Marcos at heroes’ cemetery

Time to move on, unite the country – Duterte

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, Elections 2016, Ferdinand Marcos, Government, Philippines, Politics, Rodrigo Duterte
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Cate Blanchett to head Venice Film Festival jury

January 19, 2020 06:41 PM


Yanson buses to keep operating despite legal battle

January 19, 2020 06:41 PM


Demi Lovato to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl

January 19, 2020 06:33 PM


Suns overcome Smart’s record 11 3s, beat Celtics

January 19, 2020 06:33 PM


Huawei P40 Pro leak reveals 5-lens rear camera apparatus

January 19, 2020 06:32 PM

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.