President Rodrigo Duterte hailed former President Ferdinand Marcos as a hero for many Filipinos, especially to Ilocanos. Supporters of the former strongman mark his 100th birth anniversary on Monday, September 11.
“He was a president. To the Ilocanos, he was the greatest president. Why do we have to debate on that?” Duterte said
“As far as the Ilocanos (are) concerned, Marcos is a hero,” he added.
On Thursday, Palace released Proclamation No. 310 declaring a holiday on September 11 to Ilocos Norte, the late President Marcos’ home province, could be given “full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies.”
In recent days, the Marcoses have hosted various events in Ilocos Norte showcasing the rule of their patriarch, including a mass and the unveiling of a plaque on Sunday at the family’s ancestral home town of Batac.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the President would likely be absent at the commemoration at Libingan ng mga Bayani as he is scheduled to be in Davao City.
In 2004, Marcos was accused of embezzling billions of dollars from state coffers, with anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, naming him the second most corrupt leader of all time, behind Indonesian dictator Suharto.