Filipino bishops lament honour proposal for Marcos

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have criticised a plan to rebury former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the nation’s Heroes’ Cemetery.

Responding to a Supreme Court ruling paving the way for the move, the bishops issued a letter in which they stated the inclusion in the cemetery of a dictator who had brought such pain and suffering to the Philippines would only build “the culture of impunity in the country”.

“During Martial Law [Marcos] made many people suffer by arbitrary torture and death. He deprived many poor people of their basic needs while his family and cronies were enriched. We do not forget this! We will not allow that this be forgotten by the future generations in order that the same strong-hand oppression may not happen again,” the letter, signed by Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.

Ferdinand Marcos led the Philippines as president from 1965 to 1986, eventually dying in exile after his ousting during a popular revolution. During his rule, in addition to 3,240 murdered, 70,000 opponents were imprisoned, and 35,000 suffered torture at the hands of his regime. 

The transfer of Mr Marcos’ body was prompted by current President Rodrigo Duterte who remains close to the Marcos family.