Rodrigo Duterte is the new president of the Philippines: he ran on a promise to be a "dictator" and endorsed execution by vigilante death-squad as a way of combating crime; now he's announced that he will give a hero's burial to the embalmed corpse of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who committed mass-scale human rights abuses and embezzled $10B from the national treasury.
Marcos died in exile in Hawaii, and his body was subsequently embalmed and put on display in his family's home in the Philippines. Marcos's son is now a prominent politician in the Philippines.
Duterte will also pardon Gloria Arroyo, another corrupt former president of the Philippines, currently facing charges of graft and vote fraud.
Duterte has said that he will not prohibit protests at the internment of Marcos's body.
The Marcos clan has insisted the late ruler deserves to be buried at the cemetery, arguing he was a World War II hero for resisting the Japanese occupiers.
However American and local historians have disputed his military credentials.
Duterte said allowing Marcos to be buried at the cemetery did not necessarily make him a hero, pointing out other soldiers without gloried reputations were also there.
But current President Benigno Aquino, whose parents led the democracy movement against Marcos, did not allow the burial, arguing it would be the "height of injustice".
Duterte also said on Monday that he believed Arroyo, who has been detained since 2011, should be free.
"I'm ready to grant a pardon to Arroyo. Arroyo to my mind should already be released," Duterte said of the president from 2001 to 2010.
Philippine dictator Marcos to get hero's burial: Duterte
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
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