Nude students, activists protest Marcos’ burial
Thousands of Filipinos, including more than a dozen nude students, protested yesterday against the hasty burial of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes’ cemetery, in a growing political storm that’s lashing the president who allowed the entombment. A few thousand activists joined a “Black Friday” protest despite rainy weather at Manila’s seaside Rizal Park, where they carried Marcos’ effigy in a mock coffin.
While the anger was directed at Marcos and his family, President Rodrigo Duterte was also targeted for allowing the burial of the dictator, who was ousted in a largely peaceful “people power” revolt three decades ago. Protesters held placards that read “Digong traitor, a lapdog of the dictator,” using Duterte’s nickname. Dozens of students trooped outside the presidential palace in Manila in a separate protest and burned an effigy of Marcos in a mock coffin.
At the state-run University of the Philippines, a fraternity turned its annual recruitment ritual into a protest with naked student recruits running with placards that read, “Marcos dictator not a hero”. “This run is a manifestation of our anger against what we see as the Marcoses trying to revise history, trying to revive their name because they have fallen from grace,” Alpha Phi Omega fraternity spokesman Toby Roca said. “We are angry that they are trying to ignore our painful history of human rights abuses under his term.”
Duterte, whose father served in Marcos’s Cabinet, allowed the burial on grounds that there was no law barring his interment at the Heroes’ Cemetery, where presidents, soldiers, statesmen and national artists are buried. It was a political risk in a country where democracy advocates still celebrate Marcos’s ouster each year. — AP