Mar­cos al­lowed hero’s burial

> Judges vote to en­dorse Duterte’s de­ci­sion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

MANILA: Ex-Philip­pine dic­ta­tor Fer­di­nand Mar­cos can be buried at the na­tional he­roes’ ceme­tery, the Supreme Court ruled yes­ter­day in a hugely con­tro­ver­sial ver­dict that crit­ics warned would white­wash his crimes and di­vide the na­tion.

The judges voted with a clear ma­jor­ity to en­dorse Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s de­ci­sion to al­low the burial at the “Ceme­tery of He­roes” in Manila, court spokesman Theodore Te said.

“There is no law that pro­hibits the burial,” Te said as he read a sum­mary of the ver­dict and hun­dreds of Mar­cos sup­port­ers out­side the court cheered.

Mar­cos ruled the Philip­pines for two decades un­til 1986, when mil­lions of peo­ple took to the streets in a “Peo­ple Power” revo­lu­tion that forced him into US ex­ile.

Mar­cos, his in­fa­mously flam­boy­ant wife, Imelda, and their cronies plun­dered up to US$10 bil­lion (RM42 bil­lion) from state cof­fers dur­ing his rule, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors and his­to­ri­ans.

The dic­ta­tor also over­saw wide­spread hu­man rights abuses to main­tain his con­trol of the coun­try and en­able his plun­der­ing, with thou­sands of peo­ple killed and tor­tured, pre­vi­ous Philip­pine gov­ern­ments said.

Anti-cor­rup­tion watch­dog Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional in 2004 named Mar­cos the sec­ond most cor­rupt leader of all time.

Mar­cos died in Hawaii in 1989 and his fam­ily had since tried to have him buried at the he­roes’ ceme­tery, where other pres­i­dents and cel­e­brated mil­i­tary fig­ures are in­terned.

The fam­ily has en­joyed a re­mark­able po­lit­i­cal come­back that saw his son and name­sake, Fer­di­nand “Bong­bong” Mar­cos, be­come a sen­a­tor, then al­most win the vi­cepres­i­dency this year.

How­ever, pre­vi­ous pres­i­dents had re­fused to al­low the burial be­cause of Mar­cos’s crimes, and the pre­served body had been kept in a glass cas­ket at his home in the north­ern prov­ince of Ilo­cos Norte.

The fam­ily’s for­tunes changed with the elec­tion of Duterte, a long­time ally of the Mar­cos fam­ily, as pres­i­dent in May this year.

He said Mar­cos de­served to be buried at the he­roes’ ceme­tery based sim­ply on the fact he had been a pres­i­dent and a vet­eran of World War II.

Duterte also said he owed loy­alty to the fam­ily be­cause his fa­ther served in the Mar­cos gov­ern­ment and the fam­ily had helped to fund his elec­tion cam­paign.

Im­me­di­ately cel­e­brat­ing the ver­dict, Bong­bong said the na­tion of 100 mil­lion peo­ple would now be able to put past con­tro­ver­sies be­hind it.

“It is in our be­lief a very im­por­tant step for the heal­ing process in the po­lit­i­cal arena of our coun­try,” he told CNN Philip­pines. – AFP

... A huge sink­hole is seen at an in­ter­sec­tion near Hakata sta­tion in Fukuoka, Ja­pan yes­ter­day in this photo taken by Ky­odo. No­body was in­jured when the sink­hole opened with a boom be­fore dawn in Fukuoka, but sev­eral multi-storey com­mer­cial build­ings teetered dan­ger­ously at the edge of the abyss as it grew. By af­ter­noon, the hole was 30m long and 15m deep, swal­low­ing an en­tire four-lane in­ter­sec­tion, and ap­peared to be still grow­ing.

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