Late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos will receive full military honours when his body is buried at the country’s Heroes’ Cemetery, an army spokesman said yesterday.
The army has been directed to provide Marcos all military honours normally accorded a president, said Colonel Benjamin Hao.
“Based on the directive, the Army is 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 co-ordinate 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 September 18.
Amid opposition from human rights groups and victims of abuses during the 20-year rule of Marcos, President Rodrigo Duterte said the burial will push through.
“Even if he was not a hero, he was a soldier,” Duterte said in a press conference on Thursday evening.”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 added.
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, 470km 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.
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