Sunday, September 11, 2016

Filipinos hold celebrations to mark 99th birthday of late dictator Marcos

Supporters of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos on Sunday celebrated the 99th birthday of the late dictator amid controversy over his proposed hero's burial, an epa journalist reports.

Celebrations were held in various locations including Metro Manila and the late president's home province of Ilocos Norte in northwest Luzon Island, which is hosting a three-day commemoration, according to Rappler website.

Imee Marcos, governor of the province and the eldest daughter of the dictator, visited the event and thanked visitors for their support, while her brother Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr posted a tribute to his father on social network Instagram.

The festivities came as critics and victims of human rights abuses under the Marcos regime are continuing to protest the decision by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to allow the former dictator to be buried at Heroes' Cemetery in Metro Manila, originally scheduled for Sept. 18.

The Supreme Court has issued an order halting the burial until Oct. 18 as it considers the petitions of activists and victims who say Marcos does not deserve the honor of being interred at the renowned cemetery.

The late president ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, which included several years under martial law.

He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 after being ousted in a popular uprising against his regime, which had overseen extrajudicial killings, torture and widespread corruption.

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