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Heroes burial for former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos draws protests

By
Amy R. Connolly
Filipino priests hold placards during a protest against the burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the People Power Monument in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on Friday. Filipinos protested the burial of Philippine ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was buried today at the Heroes' Cemetery, 10 days after the Supreme Court authorized the burial. Marcos's body, which was kept in a mausoleum in the north of the country, was flown to Manila for the burial without the authorities announcing the event. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/European Press Agency
Filipino priests hold placards during a protest against the burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the People Power Monument in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, on Friday. Filipinos protested the burial of Philippine ex-dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was buried today at the Heroes' Cemetery, 10 days after the Supreme Court authorized the burial. Marcos's body, which was kept in a mausoleum in the north of the country, was flown to Manila for the burial without the authorities announcing the event. Photo by Mark R. Cristino/European Press Agency

MANILA, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Protesters vowed to remove the remains of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos from the national cemetery after he was quietly given a hero's burial Friday.

The private, last-minute event shocked many who opposed Marcos being buried in a place generally reserved for soldiers and national leaders, akin to Arlington National Cemetery in the United States. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of the Philippines dismissed a case seeking to block Marcos' burial at the cemetery, allowing plans by President Rodrigo Duterte, a close ally of the Marcos family, to go forward with the burial.

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"The stealthy and hurried manner by which the Marcos burial was orchestrated is reminiscent of the dark days of martial law," said Franklin Drilon, the president pro tem of the Philippine Senate. "His burial is anything but noble. Even in death, he is a thief."

Marcos' government is believed to have killed some 3,000 political opponents, tortured up to 100,000 others and stolen an estimated $10 billion from the country. The country was run under martial law for more than half of his 21-year tenure. He was driven out of the Philippines in 1986 to exile in Hawaii and died in 1989.

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On Friday, his remains were quietly flown from his home town to the cemetery, known as Libingan ng mga Bayan. About 100 people, including former first lady Imelda Marcos, 87, attended. The event included a 21-gun salute. News outlets were barred from attending.

Imee Marcos, the former leader's daughter and the governor of Ilocos Norte, posted a video on Facebook of the event.

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