MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte has broken with his predecessors and finally ordered the burial of Ferdinand Marcos, the infamous former Philippine president who died 27 years ago, in a cemetery reserved for war heroes and eminent individuals.
Duterte said burying Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) would heal political divisions and honor Marcos as a World War II veteran.
- The interment has been provisionally scheduled for Sept. 18, according to the Philippine Star newspaper.
- The disgraced former president is accused of plundering billions in public funds and grave abuses of human rights.
- "We are a divided nation," Duterte said on Sunday, arguing that the former dictator is "qualified" for an honorable burial. "The family has that right to bury their father or husband because he was president of the Republic of the Philippines, and he was a soldier at one time".
The Marcos family has kept the former president unburied until its long-standing request that he be laid to rest in the Heroes' Cemetery is granted. Duterte's predecessors all refused permission due to opposition from his surviving victims during the martial law years.