Duterte defends hero's burial for Marcos: A matter of enforcing the law

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(File photo) President Rodrigo Duterte (L), former President Ferdinand Marcos (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday defended his decision, allowing former President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

Duterte said, it's not a matter of choice for him – but a matter of enforcing the law.

Also read: Marcos getting highest honors at Heroes’ Cemetery burial

"I allowed the burial of Marcos because it is the law," Duterte said. "He was a soldier. "He is not a hero? Fine. But he was a President. And nobody can deny that."

Duterte added, he swore an oath to defend and enforce the country's laws – and that is what he is doing for allowing a hero's burial for Marcos.

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"Whether it is to the liking of the majority of the Filipinos, or maybe they find me obnoxious for allowing it, that is the law.  And I'm sorry to say that we have to enforce the law," the President said.

Asked if he would attend the ceremonies, the President said – he might, if he is "in good health and there is no pressing matter to attend to."

Duterte said there is no final date yet for Marcos' burial.

The President also promised to allow protest activities in connection to Marcos' burial – so long as protesters will properly coordinate with authorities before they stage their demonstrations on streets.

Also read: Martial law victims: Marcos burial in heroes cemetery mocks our sacrifices

As for a petition filed at the Supreme Court, asking for a restraining order against Marcos' burial at the LNMB, Duterte said he would not want to preempt the decision of the Court – but would readily follow its ruling.

Also read: Martial law victims seek TRO against hero’s burial for Marcos