MANILA - Former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Etta Rosales believes it is now time for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried -- only not at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Rosales said Marcos, who died in exile in the United States in 1989, should already be laid to rest in his hometown Ilocos Norte.
Marcos' body remains in a glass coffin in a mausoleum.
Rosales, herself a martial law victim, called on President Rodrigo Duterte not to allow Marcos' burial in the heroes' cemetery.
"Sa Ilocos Norte, dun na lang kaya sa Batac, ako, sumasang-ayon din ako dun," said Rosales.
"Isipin din natin. Alam niyo, si Marcos patay na siya, matagal na siyang namatay. Sana igalang na natin ang katawan ni Marcos. Let him rest in peace. Huwag natin siyang gamitin bilang parang propaganda na pang-kuwan di ba? Hindi maganda yun," she added.
"Patay na siya. Igalang natin siya. Pero ilibing natin siya sa Batac sa Ilocos Norte kung saan nandun siya sa tabi ng kanyang mga kababayan."
Militant groups also held a rally in Manila to express their opposition to Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The protesters, chanting "Marcos, Hitler, diktador, tuta," even wore superhero costumes to twit the former president.
Duterte earlier said he will allow the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani "not because he is a hero...but because he was a Filipino soldier."
"Yang issue na yan has long created a division amongst our people. Almost all of Ilocanos, naghihinanakit talaga," Duterte had said.
READ: Duterte: Marcos burial in Libingan to 'erase hatred'
Marcos' only son and namesake, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., for his part thanked Duterte, saying this move "could end the decades of divisiveness that have been imposed upon us by our leaders."
READ: Marcos thanks Duterte for 'rightful, healing' stance on dad's burial
The Marcos patriarch and his wife, Imelda, have been accused of plundering $10 billion from government coffers and overseeing widespread human rights abuses by security forces during the late dictator's regime. - Report from Zhander Cayabyab, dzMM