MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was “qualified” for a hero’s burial as he rejected criticism of his approval.
Arrangements are being made for a September 18 burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery), the late strongman’s only son and namesake, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. told the Philippine Star newspaper.
“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.
His son, Bongbong, narrowly lost in the May vice-presidential elections but Duterte promised him a Cabinet position after a one-year ban on the appointment of election losers to government positions expires.