Protest over hero’s burial for Marcos
PHILIPPINE activists and a historical body yesterday criticised President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to give late dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial, saying the ex-leader lied about his military record.
Mr Duterte said on August 7 he would fulfil his promise to bury Marcos at the national “Heroes’ Cemetery”, a contentious issue because of widespread corruption and rights abuses under the late dictator.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines released a study questioning Mr Duterte’s stance that Marcos qualified for a hero’s burial because he was a soldier during World War II.
“Marcos lied about receiving US medals ... [His] military record is fraught with myths, factual inconsistencies,” the agency said.
“A doubtful record does not serve as sound, unassailable basis of historical recognition of any sort, let alone burial in a site intended, as its name suggests, for heroes.”
Mr Marcos was toppled in a military-backed popular revolt in 1986 and died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.
But his family has insisted on a hero’s burial even though previous presidents refused this.
In the meantime, they have kept his preserved body on display in their home town in the northern province of Ilocos Norte.
Marcos was elected president in 1965 and declared martial law in 1972, ruling as a dictator while he, his family and allies enriched themselves through massive corruption as his troops suppressed dissent.
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International in 2004 named Marcos the second-most corrupt leader of all time.
Despite his proclaimed stance against corruption, Mr Duterte has heaped praise on Marcos as the Philippines’ “best president”. He maintains close ties with the Marcos family, who supported his campaign.
Mr Duterte’s defence secretary ordered the military on August 7 to start preparing for the burial. –