Protests condemn Marcos burial plan

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Source: Wikimedia
Protests have been staged against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the reburial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the national heroes’ cemetery.
Police said about 1,500 protesters carrying banners with phrases like “Marcos not a hero” endured rain and mud at Manila’s Rizal Park to call for a U-turn, although they are probably aware that is not Duterte’s style. The burial is currently set for September.
Marcos was elected president in 1965 and declared martial law in 1972, allowing him to rule as a dictator while his oligarch enriched itself through corruption while his troops stamped out dissent.
Self-declared corruption-buster Duterte defended Marcos.
Duterte has said that he won the May 9 election partly with the support of Marcos allies who remain influential in the northern Philippines.
Loretta Ann Rosales, former head of the Commission on Human Rights, told a crowd she was tortured, electrocuted and molested along with thousands of other left-wing activists under Marcos. The brutal leader did not deserve any state honours, she said.
“Is that not enough evidence?  Is Marcos a hero?” Rosales asked, with the audience shouting back “No”.
Senator Risa Hontiveros said she had filed an upper house resolution opposing a hero’s burial for the former strongman, adding that Duterte should not commit “this atrocious mistake” of bestowing honours.
“Marcos went down in history as an unrepentant enemy of our heroes,” Hontiveros said. “To honour the man a hero and bury his remains in a place reserved for the brave and martyred is an inimitable political abomination.” It has long been an emotional and divisive issue, as Marcos was toppled by a “people power” revolt in 1986. He flew to Hawaii, where he lived with his wife, Imelda, and children in exile until his death in 1989.
Imelda and two of three children regained political influence after being elected to public office.
Duterte says Marcos is qualified to be buried at the military-run graveyard as a soldier and president. The combative president said he voted for Marcos and his late father served in Marcos’s cabinet.
A group of Marcos victims called Selda said it planned to ask the Supreme Court to block the alleged “grave injustice” to thousands of human rights victims.
Communist militants, who are set to restart peace talks with Manila during August, said the move had “extreme insensitivity.”
“Duterte is virtually deleting Marcos’ bloody record as a military despot and the fascist violence, human rights violation, corruption and economic hardships he made the Filipino people suffer through 14 years of dictatorship,” the communists announced.