Sunday, August 14, 2016

Protesters Demand Philippines President Not Honor Marcos with State Burial

Hundreds of protesters braved heavy rain in the Philippine's capital Sunday, denouncing President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to honor the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos with a state burial in a heroes cemetery.

Protests were also held in other parts of the country, but Duterte is standing firm on his decision to move Marcos' body from his hometown to the National Heroes' Cemetery in Manila next month.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who joined the protest, said "Marcos went down in history as an unrepentant enemy of our heroes," and said Duterte should not commit what she called "this atrocious mistake."

Also among the protesters were victims of torture and imprisonment during Marcos time in power.

Marcos, who was elected president in 1965, declared martial law in 1972, and was later accused of massive human rights violations and plunder of the country's wealth for personal gain. He was ousted in a "people power" revolt in 1986, and lived in exile in Hawaii with his family until he died in 1989. His remains were later returned to his hometown and have been displayed in a glass coffin.

Duterte, who has said he once voted for Marcos, and whose late father served in the dictator's Cabinet, argues that Marcos deserves to be buried in the heroes cemetery as a former soldier and president.

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