Hundreds of people today braved rain and flooding in the Philippine capital to protest the planned burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the country’s heroes’ cemetery.
The demonstrators carried placards and banners reading “Marcos: Not a Hero!” and “No hero’s burial for a criminal!” as they gathered at Rizal Park in Manila despite the heavy rains.
They included human rights activists, former legislators, students, victims of abuse under Marcos’ 20-year rule and Catholic nuns and clergy.
They asked President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw his promise to have Marcos buried at the libingan ng mga bayani (heroes’ cemetery).
No date has been set for the burial, but local reports had quoted the dictator’s only son, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, as saying it would likely take place on Sept 18.
Marcos was president of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986 after which he was ousted by a revolt and forced to flee into exile in Hawaii, where he died in 1989.
His body was returned to the Philippines in 1993 and has since been kept in a refrigerated crypt in a mausoleum in his home town of Batac in Ilocos Norte province, 470 kilometres north of Manila.
Past presidents have refused to have his body buried at the heroes’ cemetery due to allegations of corruption, human rights violations and other abuses during his rule.