Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos was buried Friday with military honors at a cemetery for national heroes.
His wife Imelda and their children attended the burial at “Cemetery of Heroes” in Manila.
A police official told the Associated Press that Marcos’s body was flown to the capital Thursday from his home province of Ilocos Norte.
The official described the burial service as a “simple, family” ceremony. Family members and military officials followed the body as it was taken in a horse-drawn carriage to its final resting place.
The ceremony included a 21-gun military salute. Imelda Marcos was given the Philippine flag that covered the coffin.
The burial was kept secret from the public. Groups representing victims of Marcos’s rule opposed having his remains moved to the cemetery. Other former presidents, military leaders and artists are buried there.
No protests were reported at the cemetery, where thousands of riot police and soldiers stood guard. But protesters gathered in other parts of Manila. Some burned pictures of Marcos.
The Philippine Supreme Court approved the burial, which President Rodrigo Duterte also supported. Several groups had gone to court seeking to stop it.
Marcos ruled the country for more than 20 years. His administration was accused of widespread corruption and human rights abuses. Family members have denied wrongdoing during his rule.
Marcos was removed from office in 1986 when the army supported what was called a “people power” rebellion. He later fled the country.
Marcos died in 1989 while living in exile with his family in the American state of Hawaii. In 1993, his body was flown back to the Philippines.
Marcos’s oldest daughter Imee is the governor of Ilocos Norte province. She thanked President Duterte for supporting the burial in Manila.
“My beloved father's last will to be buried with fellow soldiers was fulfilled today," she said.
Duterte had said it was right for the former president to be buried at the Manila cemetery “not because he was a hero, but because he was a Filipino soldier.”
Marcos served in the Philippine army and was a guerrilla leader against Japanese occupation forces during World War II.
Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo opposed the burial and criticized the secrecy of the ceremony. She compared the process to “a thief in the night.”
“This is nothing new to the Marcoses - they who had hidden wealth, hidden human rights abuses and now hidden burial - with complete disrespect for the rule of law,” she said.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from VOA News, the Associated Press and Reuters. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story
cemetery – n. place where dead people are buried
salute – n. sign of respect given to high-ranking military officials
coffin – n. box used to bury the body of a dead person
fellow - adj. used to describe people who belong to the same group or who have shared experiences
thief - n. person who steals things