MANILA — Malacañang distanced Thursday from a bill that seeks to declare Sept. 11 of every year as a special non-working holiday in the province of Ilocos Norte in commemoration of the birth anniversary of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
President Rodrigo Duterte will respect the decision of lawmakers on the proposal, his spokesperson Harry Roque said.
"Rerespetuhin ng Presidente kung ano ang maging desisyon ng policymakers sa Kongreso," Roque said in a Palace press briefing, noting that the measure still has to hurdle both chambers of Congress.
(The President will respect whatever the decision of policymakers in Congress will be.)
The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on final reading the proposed measure which Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba, his nephew, described as a salute to “a brilliant man whose vision for the country remains unparalleled.”
The late strongman hailed from the province and his family enjoys political clout there to this day.
Duterte is known to be close to the Marcos family, as his late father Vicente served in the late strongman's pre-martial law Cabinet.
In November 2016, Duterte allowed the sneaky burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani despite protests.
The late dictator's family was known for living a lavish life during his strongman rule, with billions in ill-gotten wealth yet to be recovered decades since the end of his regime.