Duterte not attending Marcos' 100th birth anniversary on Sept. 11

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

(File photo) The family of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos will gather at his tomb at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to celebrate what would have been his 100th birthday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 10) — The family of former President Ferdinand Marcos will lead the celebration of his 100th birth anniversary at the Libingan ng mga Bayani Monday.

Although the Marcos family invited many politicians to join the event, President Rodrigo Duterte won't be one of them.

This was confirmed by Special Assistant to the President Bong Go to CNN Philippines on Sunday when asked about Duterte's presence.

"No" was Go's reply when asked if Duterte would be attending the event at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Former Sen. Bongbong Marcos said they had  invited the President, who pushed for the Marcos patriarch's burial on November 2016 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Read: LOOK: Imelda Marcos sends invites for 'Marcos 100' birthday at Libingan ng mga Bayani

The event will start with a 9:30 a.m. mass, followed by a program and lunch.

The Monday celebration culminates a weekend of activities at Marcos' hometown of Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Read: Marcos hometown holds muted celebrations on strongman's centennial

Duterte declared Sept. 11 as a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte.

Read: Marcos family thanks Duterte for holiday 'recognizing father's service'

'Birthday bashers' attending

Although Duterte won't be there, thousands of supporters and opponents of the Marcos regime are expected to gather at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

In a Sunday statement, anti-Marcos groups – comprised of CARMMA (Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang), ex-political detainees group Selda and The Movement Against Tyranny – will join a protest caravan.

Related: Duterte hopes people forgive Ferdinand Marcos

Delegates of the Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya 2017 and organizations under the left-leaning Bagong Alyansang Makabayan will also be part of the protest.

"Here's one big rally of bashers on this birthday 'celebration' of a dictator and plunderer organized by no less than the current president himself," said CARMMA Spokesperson Bonifacio Ilagan.

"Let us mark this day that whatever the Duterte government does to complete the rehabilitation of the Marcoses, will be met with protests," he said.

Ilagan said all the people participating in the caravan have experienced martial law, in one way or another, from Marcos to Duterte.

"We, former political prisoners and victims of torture under Marcos, are joined in by the Lakbayan, especially those who experienced the atrocities of the martial law in Mindanao declared by Duterte," she said. "They have experiences the human rights violations that their elders have survived through."

National Capital Region Police Office chief Oscar Albayalde told CNN Philippines on Sunday that the police have made security preparations for the Libingan ng mga Bayani event.

Billion plundered

Former President Marcos died in exile in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1989. He was in power from 1965 to 1986, when he was ousted by a popular revolt amid allegations of corruption and human rights violations.

According to the World Bank-UN Office on Drugs and Crime's Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, Marcos started amassing ill-gotten wealth from the government on his first year in office in 1965.

The study revealed Marcos has siphoned an estimated $5-billion to $10-billion in his 21-year regime.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Commission on Good Government – which was set up during the presidency of Corazon Aquino to recover the Marcos' ill-gotten wealth – has recovered over P170 billion (US$3 billion) from its inception in 1986 to December 2015.

As of December 2016, the Commission has filed 248 cases against the Marcoses and their cronies or oligarchs who had close ties with the regime.

Marcos said she believes the cases filed against her family will be settled within the Duterte administration.

"Tiwala kami sa Presidente na siya ang makakapagtapos ng deka-dekadang kaso," she said. "At yung pamilya nag-uusap pa, subalit nasa kamay ng mga abogado."

[Translation: We believe that the President will end the decades of cases filed against us. The family is still talking about returning the wealth, but the issue is in the hands of our lawyers.]

Duterte said on Sept. 3 that the Marcoses were "ready to return" part of their wealth, possibly through a settlement.

Read: Duterte: Marcoses offer settlement on family wealth

In addition, victims of human rights violations during the martial law era started receiving compensation in May 2017.

Read: Martial law victims receive first half of monetary compensation

Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 grants monetary and nonmonetary reparation to human rights victims.

The government has allotted P10 billion for the reparation of the victims, which came from the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcos family transferred to the Philippine government by the Swiss Federal Court in December 1997.