Marcos mausoleum reopens in Batac

Kim Lorenzo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2016 11:05 AM

Visitors enter the Marcos Mausoleum in Batac. Kim Lorenzo, ABS-CBN News

BATAC CITY- The mausoleum in Batac City which houses late President Ferdinand Marcos' remains reopened Friday, after being closed for a month due to preparations for the late strongman's burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and maintenance operations.

The reopening of the mausoleum, housed in the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, came three days before the 99th birth anniversary of the late President Ferdinand Marcos on Sunday.

Aian Raquel of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Tourism Office said the Marcos family decided to reopen the mausoleum because of requests from tourists, supporters, and locals.

"We have been receiving a lot of feedback and requests to appeal for the reopening of the mausoleum. Talagang on schedule, pinabuksan naman ng pamilya Marcos (Right on schedule, the Marcos family reopened it)," Raquel said.

No changes were made in the mausoleum after maintenance operations, she said.

"The setup is still the same."

Some tourists were surprised to find the mausoleum open.

"Nagbakasakali lang kami talaga na makita pa namin siya kahit na alam namin na matagal nang closed. Pero pagdating namin nagpapapasok sila kaya pumasok na kami agad," said Paula Maniacup, who traveled from Pampanga to visit Batac City.

The provincial government of Ilocos Norte organized a three-day "Marcos Fiesta" to celebrate the former president's birth anniversary, which started on Friday with a job fair, and an art and literary contest.

The burial of the former president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was set on September 18, but was put on hold through a Supreme Court order.

Oral arguments are ongoing regarding petitions to bar Marcos' burial at the heroes' cemetery.

READ: 'Marcos Libingan burial is up to Duterte, not SC'