Former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled his country under martial law from 1972 until 1981 and was overthrown in a popular revolution is to receive a hero's burial following the intervention of current President Rodrigo Duterte.
Marcos will be buried in the Heroes' Cemetery in Manila, the Philippines' Supreme Court ruled today (8 November), more than 25 years after his death in exile in the United States. The ruling follows months of campaigning by newly elected president Duterte for Marcos to be exumed and reburied.
Duterte, whose unrelenting drug war in the Philippines has killed thousands, has cast himself in the strongman mould espoused by Marcos and campaigned since May to move the former dictator's body.
His body is now stored in a crypt and embalmed near his former family home in the northern Philippines.
In August the president called Marcos a "Filipino Soldier" and repeated his wish to see him given a hero's burial. Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te was quoted by the AP as saying the 15-member court voted nine to five with one abstention on Tuesday to dismiss petitions opposing President Rodrigo Duterte's approval of Marcos's reburial at the cemetery.
However, opponents to Marco's rule and his burial at the Manila cemetery are set to ask the court to reconsider. Marcos was ousted by million-strong protests against his endemically corrupt regime in 1986. He was accused of massive human rights violations and fled to Hawaii following the peaceful demonstrations.
Duterte has made headlines and courted international controversy over his drug war and outspoken attacks on the US and the UN while moving closer to Russia and China.
In October, just hours after Rodrigo Duterte softened his claims about "separating" from the US, the mercurial president once again hit out at the long-term ally of the Philippines. Speaking to the press on 25 October, prior to his Japan visit, he said that Washington should forget about any military deals as long as he continued to stay in power.
The president said that America could "forget" an Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Philippines "if I stay longer", though he did not make it clear what he meant by this. Duterte went on to warn that the US should not treat the Philippines "like a dog with a leash".