LIMA, Peru - President Rodrigo Duterte called for "forgiveness" after former President Ferdinand Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes Cemetery), and urged human rights victims to bring their grievances before the courts.
The late strongman was interred with full military honors in a private ceremony on Friday, three decades after he was ousted by a military-backed popular revolt, sparking protests across the country.
"Well, it seems to be a very raucous issue for the nation but I would like to pray that everybody would find a space in his heart for forgiveness," Duterte said before his attendance at a weekend summit of Pacific Rim leaders here.
Marcos is accused of stealing $10 billion from state coffers during his two-decade-long rule, during which thousands allegedly suffered human rights abuses.
“And for those who have been somehow hurt or endured that they can take some other, for those detained for so long and suffering, they have this option to file a case against the late President Marcos,” Duterte said.
“You know, these sins cannot beset the children. And, liability is always personal. That’s a principle of law na sunod-sunod natin (we should follow),” he said.
Duterte said he was being "legally strict" when he allowed Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
"President Marcos was a president for so long and he was a soldier. So that’s about it. Whether or not he performed worse or better, there is no study, there is no movie about it. It’s just the challenges and allegations of the other side which is not enough," he said.
Denying Marcos his dying wish to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery, Duterte said, “hurt” people in the Ilocos Region, where Marcos is from.
“They are dismayed and it’s been there rotting like a flotsam. We have to decide once and for all,” he said. -- reports from Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News