Demonstrators Protest Philippine Former Dictator’s 100th Birthday

UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Demonstrators protested the 100th anniversary of former Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos’s birth.

Marcos’ authoritarian rule lasted two decades until a popular revolution in 1986 removed him from power. He later died in exile.

Independent experts estimate Marcos embezzled billions of dollars worth of government funds during his rule.

Critics have since accused the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, of rehabilitating Marcos’ image.

Duterte allowed Marcos to be buried in a cemetery usually reserved for national heroes. He also declared Marcos’ birthday a regional holiday in the former ruler’s home province.

As many as 200 protesters gathered outside the Heroes’ Cemetery in Manila on Sept. 11, carrying signs that read “Marcos Is No Hero” and protesting Duterte’s declaration of the new holiday.

According to the Associated Press, the protest leader said, “To glorify Marcos is to absolve him of his crimes against the Filipino people.”