MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday defended his decision to declare September 11, a special non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to mark the 100th birth anniversary of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
A reporter asked Duterte if the Marcoses asked him to proclaim the holiday, and the president said he “readily agreed.”
“He was a president. To the Ilocanos, he was the greatest president. Why do we have to debate on that? It's one day where they can celebrate the anniversary of a great Ilocano," Duterte said in a press briefing at Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro city.
"(To others), sa tingin nila, si Marcos ay masamang tao. But that is not shared, that sentiment, that view is not shared by all.”
Duterte said he will also declare holidays for “great sons” of other provinces if the citizens wish.
“Pagdating ng mga Pampangueño and they want to celebrate also a great son of theirs, then go ahead. Cebuano, sige. Bakit ba natin pag-awayan iyan?” he said.
According to Proclamation No. 310, Ilocos Norte residents should "be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies."