Philippine dictator Marcos allowed hero’s burial: SC
Ex-Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos can be given a hero’s burial, the Supreme Court decided on Tuesday in a hugely controversial ruling which critics said would whitewash his crimes and divide the nation.
The justices endorsed President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow the burial at the “Cemetery of Heroes” in Manila, three decades after a famous “People Power” revolt forced Marcos into US exile and restored democracy. “There is no law that prohibits the burial,” court spokesman Theodore Te said as he read the judgement.
Hundreds of Marcos supporters outside the Supreme Court cheered. But opponents who had petitioned the court to reject the plan staged a rally nearby and voiced deep anger.
“It’s really sad because the decision makes liars out of human rights victims,” Neri Colmenares, who as a student leader was tortured by Marcos’ security forces during martial law, said outside the court.
“If the torturer is a hero, what does that make of the victims? What does that make of the millions who overthrew a dictator? It is a horrible and tragic ending to one of the most tragic chapters of our history. History was altered today,” Colmenares added.
Marcos ruled the Philippines for two decades until key military figures turned on him and millions took to the streets in the “People Power” uprising, a largely peaceful event that inspired democracy movements throughout Asia and around the world.
Marcos, his infamously flamboyant wife Imelda, and their cronies plundered up to 10 billion from state coffers during his rule, according to government investigators and historians.