More Marcos loyalists visit Libingan, critics still banned


Posted at Nov 20 2016 05:51 PM

Tight security irks other cemetery goers

MANILA - Hundreds of supporters of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos on Sunday visited his tomb at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LBNM), where security measures have been beefed up to keep out his family's critics, including thousands who suffered human rights abuses under his two-decade-long rule. 

Only members of the group Friends of Imelda Romualdez-Marcos (FIRM) bearing the necessary stickers and IDs were permitted by FIRM leaders and law enforcers to get near the late strongman's tomb. 

The tight security caused inconvenience to other cemetery-goers who were asked to provide proof that they have loved ones interred at the resting place for heroes, national artists, soldiers and public officials. 

Under the sweltering heat, non-FIRM members were also banned from bringing their vehicles inside the Heroes' Cemetery and had to ride coasters instead to get to their destination. 

Irked by the tight security, some people just canceled their plans and left the cemetery. 

A Mass was held for Marcos at the LBNM at noon but journalists were also denied entry there. 

Pro-Marcos groups started flocking to the cemetery on Saturday. Some 800 people have visited his grave as of 4 p.m. on Sunday, a DZMM report said. 

The additional security checks at the LNBM were requested by the deposed tyrant's family. 

Marcos received his hero's burial on Friday in hushed rites that shocked activist groups and Martial Law victims. 

In pocket protests across the country, critics insisted that the Supreme Court decision allowing the burial was still subject to appeal and that Marcos did not deserve to be interred alongside heroes. 

The Marcos family and their supporters, meanwhile, called for unity and national healing amid the protests. They also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for giving the green light to the burial in the first place. 

Duterte, for his part, called for "forgiveness" and urged human rights victims to bring their cases to court. -- With reports from Zhander Cayabyab and Angel Movido, DZMM