MANILA - (UPDATED) The Department of National Defense (DND) on Sunday issued a formal memorandum instructing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to plan and prepare the interment of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In a memorandum dated August 7, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ordered AFP Chief of Staff General Ricardo Visaya to "undertake the necessary planning and preparations to facilitate" the interment of the late dictator at the heroes' cemetery.
(WATCH: Duterte: September burial of Marcos up to Bongbong)
According to Lorenzana, the memorandum was pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte's verbal order to implement his election promise to inter Marcos's remains at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani.
The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) was designated as the overseer and focal agency for the transfer of remains.
Meanwhile, defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos said arrangements are being made for a September 18 burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Duterte's decision to have the remains of the late strongman interred at the heroes' cemetery was met with criticism.
However, the President was quick to dispel his critics.
“I will allow the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Duterte said, adding that as a former president and soldier, Marcos was entitled to it.
“As a matter of fact, I voted for him during his first term,” he said.
“Kung ayaw ng ibang Pilipino fine. Mag-demonstrate, go ahead. You can use the streets, one month. [If other Filipinos oppose it, fine. Hold demonstrations, go ahead. You can use the streets for a month],” Duterte said.
Marcos' remains have been kept in a refrigerated crypt in his home province of Ilocos Norte since the family's return from exile in Hawaii in the early 1990s.