Pacific News Minute: 27 Years Later the Body of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos a Political Football

Nov 24, 2016

Credit Investvine

Just a few days after a controversial re-burial, activists in the Philippines are calling for the body of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be exhumed. Marcos died here in Hawaii in 1989 after he was ousted in the "People Power" Revolution, but, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, his family has found an ally in the new President of the Philippines.

Four years after his death in exile, the remains of the dictator were flown to his hometown in the province of Ilocos Norte.  When successive Philippine presidents refused the family's request for reburial in the Cemetery of Heroes... the Philippines equivalent to Arlington National Cemetery... his body remained on display in a glass coffin.

Despite the fact that he and his family stole an estimated $10 Billion dollars, murdered thousands of political opponents and tortured thousands more, Marcos' reputation has improved over the years.  His widow, Imelda, best remembered for closets full of shoes, is now a member of Congress.  Daughter Imee is the governor of Ilocos Norte, and his son Ferdinand Junior continues to contest a razor thin loss as Vice President.  Family fortunes further improved with the election of Roderigo Duterte , who vowed to approve reburial during his Presidential campaign, "Not because he was a hero," Duterte said, "but because he was a Filipino soldier." Critics charge that a campaign contribution and a questionable business deal may be the real motives.  

Last week, just days after the Philippine Supreme Court approved reburial, the body of Ferdinand Marcos was quietly flown to Manila and reinterred in a the Cemetery of Heroes. On Monday, a coalition including families of his victims demanded Marcos be exhumed once again, arguing that the family acted before they had a chance to appeal the court ruling...they also announced plans for demonstrations on Friday.