In August, current president Rodrigo Duterte announced plans to re-inter Marcos — who ruled the Philippines with an iron fist for two-and-a-half decades — in the National Heroes’ Cemetery, to outrage from the families of victims and civil society groups.
Marcos’ remains have been preserved and put on display at the family’s mausoleum in Ilocos Norte, in the northwest of the Philippines. He was due to be buried in the cemetery on September 18, but opponents filed a petition with the court, claiming that as the dictator was found liable for human rights abuses, he could not be interred in the heroes’ burial ground.
The Supreme Court is due to rule Tuesday on the case.
On Sunday, Duterte said he hoped the court decides “not on emotion” but on “the public interest,” and vowed to abide by the ruling.
“We are hopeful that the court will see our way,” said Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which filed the case objecting to the burial.
“(The court should) reaffirm the historical reality that Marcos, the fascist dictator and plunderer par excellence, was no hero but a legendary heel.”
Around 30,000 people have signed a petition objecting to the re-internment, and thousands are expected to protest a decision in favor of the burial.
Marcos fled the Philippines after a revolution in 1986 ended his decades as dictator. Many young Filipinos have little or no knowledge of Marcos and martial law and recent years have seen his family re-emerge on the political scene.
Imelda and Ferdinand’s daughter Imee Marcos has been governor of Ilocos Norte since 2010. She addressed the rally outside the Supreme Court Monday.
“We are pleading for the Supreme Court to open their hearts and minds to the truth that this is an opportunity to erase the hatred, conflicts and discord in our society,” she said.
“The healing presidency of President Duterte will take over and we as one nation will be great again.”