Victims of Philippines dictator ask court to block ‘hero’ burial News
Victims of Philippines dictator ask court to block ‘hero’ burial

Human rights victims of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ regime petitioned the Philippine Supreme Court on Monday to permanently block the government’s plan to bury him in the “Heroes Cemetery.” The petitioners assert [AP report] that the burial for the tyrant would be illegal, flout the constitution, violate regulations concerning the military-run cemetery and would violate a 1993 agreement to bury the dictator in his hometown in northern Ilocos Norte province. President Rodrigo Duterte maintains [AP report] that the late dictator qualifies for burial in the cemetery as a former soldier and president. Hundreds have protested [Guardian report] the burial asserting that Marcos collaborated [WP report] with Japanese forces that occupied the Philippines during World War II, that approximately 3,240 people were killed under martial law imposed by him between 1972 and 1981, and other massive rights violations.

The effects of Marcos’ regime have been felt in the Philippines. In 2013 JURIST guest columnist Lara Wharton, discussed [JURIST op-ed] human rights abuses in the Philippines. Also in that year, then-Philippines President Benigno Aquino III signed [JURIST report] legislation to compensate the victims of human rights abuses committed 27 years ago under the regime of former president Marcos. In January 2013 the Philippines House of Representatives and Senate ratified the legislation to compensate [JURIST reports] approximately 10,000 victims. In 2012 the Philippine president signed [JURIST report] legislation that criminalized enforced disappearances by agents of the state, an allegedly common practice under Marcos. In April 2011 Imelda Marcos, Ferdinand Marcos’ wife, was ordered [JURIST report] to return USD $280,000 in state funds stolen by the late dictator.