DAVAO CITY - Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the late President Ferdinand Marcos deserves to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani or Heroes' Cemetery in Taguig.
The tough-talking Duterte said the issue has long divided the country and it must be put to rest.
“I will allow the burial of President Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, not because he is a hero…but because he was a Filipino soldier. Period. That can be arranged immediately,” he said in an evening press conference.
“Yang issue na yan has long created a division amongst our people. Almost all of Ilocanos, naghihinanakit talaga.”
Duterte said he had no particular time frame on when the burial should be held.
“I don't mind what would be the appropriate time to bury him,” he said.
Duterte said doing so would “erase one hatred" that has divided the country.
However, when asked how will he deal with the “hatred” that may arise among martial law victims with his decision, he said: “Nandyan na yung kuwan, kubrahin niyo.”
He was apparently referring to the reparation for human rights victims that has been passed into law and is already being processed.
Marcos, who ruled as a dictator for 14 years, died in exile in the US in 1989, three years after a popular revolt ousted him from power.
Since his death, the Marcos family has pushed for a hero's burial for him, citing his accomplishments as a former soldier and president.
Marcos' body is still in a glass coffin in a mausoleum in his hometown in Ilocos Norte.