Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, has directed the army to provide the late country’s dictator Ferdinand Marcos, with full military honours, during his burial.
Col. Benjamin Hao, Army spokesman, said on Friday in Manila that his body would be buried at the country’s Heroes’ Cemetery, with all the military honours normally accorded a president.
“The army is also required to provide vigil, bugler, drummer, firing party, military host/pallbearers, escort and transportation, and arrival and departure honors,” he said.
Hao said the army has already designated a protocol officer to coordinate the details of the internment at the Heroes’ Cemetery with the Marcos family.
“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.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte said the burial would push through amid opposition from human rights groups and victims of abuses during the 20-year rule of Marcos.
“Even if he was not a hero, he was a soldier, and in the Philippines, you need only to be a president and a soldier to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
“Nobody is debating about heroes here,” he said.
Duterte said he would allow people opposed to the burial to protest for as long as they want.
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 km 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.