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Duterte: What’s wrong with declaring Marcos birth anniversary a holiday?

/ 09:57 PM September 09, 2017
Imelda Marcos with bust of Ferdinand Marcos

This photo, taken on May 5, 2013, shows former first lady Imelda Marcos standing next to a bust of her late husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, in Batac town, Ilocos Norte. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he had no reason to deny the people of Ilocos Norte to celebrate the birthday of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Duterte admitted that the Marcos family had asked him to declare, Sept. 11, the former president’s birthday, as a holiday in Ilocos Norte.

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“And I readily agreed. Bakit, what’s wrong?” he told reporters in Cagayan de Oro City, where he visited wounded troops at the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital. “To the Ilocanos, he was the greatest president. It’s one day when they can celebrate the anniversary of a great Ilocano.”

“Why do we have to debate on that?” he said. “As far as the Ilocanos are concerned, Marcos is a hero. Kaya to dwell on this thing for so long a time will just divide the nation.”

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“I see nothing wrong there,” he added.

Duterte said he would also gladly declare a holiday if the people of Pampanga or of Cebu, for instance, would ask him to do so to celebrate a great son of theirs.

“Bakit ba natin pag-awayan iyan?” he said. “Sa kanila tingin nila si Marcos ay masamang tao but that view is not shared by all. For the Ilocanos, it’s a lot of hogwash. Basura iyan.”

He accused the so-called Yellows of being ignorant. Yellows refer to members of the Liberal Party and allies of the Aquino family. Corazon Aquino replaced Marcos as president after the latter was ousted in a peaceful revolt in February 1986.

A Palace proclamation declared Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte, Marcos’ home province.

Malacañang said it was a “one off” event. /atm

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TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos birth anniversary, Rodrigo Duterte
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