Nude stu­dents, ac­tivists protest Mar­cos’ burial

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

MANILA:

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

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