Manila: Ousted Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried on Friday at the Heroes cemetery here in a controversial and unexpected ceremony which was not announced by the country’s authorities until a few hours before the funeral.
The body of Marcos, accused of being responsible for the death, torture and illegal detention of hundreds of thousands and the appropriation of about $10 billion of public funds, was transported by helicopter to the Heroes Cemetery, Efe news reported.
The former President was buried in a private military ceremony that had to be guarded by hundreds of forces of the Philippine National Police in order to avoid clashes with victims of his regime. The ceremony was broadcast live in local media from outside the cemetery.
According to photos published on Facebook by Imee, one of his daughters, the former dictator’s widow Imelda Marco attended the ceremony dressed in black.
Marcos’ burial comes just 10 days after the country’s Supreme Court gave the green light, which, according to opponents of the former dictator’s family, is against the Philippine laws.
Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo said on Friday said she was also “disturbed” by the fact that the burial happened “in coordination with the Armed Forces and Philippine National Police demonstrating further that the judicial process has been thoroughly disregarded”.
“(Marcos) is no hero. If he were, obviously his family would not have to hide his burial like a shameful criminal deed,” Robredo added.
Several groups critical of Marcos announced they would hold a protest after the burial on Friday and over the weekend and that they will also file a judicial appeal to order the exhumation of the former dictator’s remains.
Marcos’ burial at the Heroes Cemetery was ordered in August by President Rodrigo Duterte, after the family of the former dictator submitted the request to previous presidents for years but had always been turned down.
After having ruled the Philippines with an iron fist for more than two decades, Marcos was removed from office in February 1986 following a peaceful protest and died in exile three years later.