Ex-Philippines dictator to be buried in Heroes’ cemetery

Manila, Nov 18 (IANS) The remains of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos will be buried at the Heroes’ cemetery here at noon on Friday, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said.

The burial was confirmed by Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, NCRPO head, the Philippine Star reported.

A helicopter carrying Marcos’ remains is expected to arrive at the cemetery shortly ahead of a service attended only by his family.

Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa told CNN Philippines that he only found out about the burial on Thursday. He also said that President Rodrigo Duterte is aware of the move.

“(Duterte) knows. There are no special instructions,” he said, adding “We just have to make sure the burial is peaceful and there nothing untoward happens.”

After coming to power in June, Duterte’s administration pushed for the former leader’s remains to be moved and interred in the Manila cemetery.

The move sparked protests and a court challenge earlier this year.

The Supreme Court, by a 9-5 vote on November 8, allowed the former president’s burial at the cemetery.

Marcos ruled the Philippines with an iron fist for two-and-a-half decades until his ouster in the 1986 “People Power” revolution.

He died three years after being exiled to Hawaii. His body was eventually brought back to a mausoleum in the family’s stronghold of Ilocos Norte, in the Philippines’ northeast, where it has remained until now.