Duterte not attending Marcos 100th birth anniv celebration
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte will not be present at the celebration of former president Ferdinand Marcos' 100th birth anniversary on Monday, September 11.
Duterte will instead be in Mindanao where he will preside over a series of meetings, a Malacañang source told Rappler on Monday.
The source also said the President did not receive an invitation to the event.
Duterte declared Monday a holiday for Ilocos Norte in honor of the celebration. It was also he who initiated efforts to allow the late strongman's burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, allowing Marcos' birth anniversary to be celebrated there for the first time.
The burial was fiercely opposed by citizens and condemned by victims of human rights abuses perpetrated during the Marcos dictatorship.
Last Saturday, September 9, Duterte defended his decision to declare a holiday for Marcos' birth anniversary.
"He is a hero to Ilocanos," Duterte said in a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, September 9.
"Ang sabi nila, si Marcos masamang tao. (They say Marcos is a bad person.) That is a sentiment not shared by all," Duterte said.
The President was also not present at Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in November 2016.
Marcos' 100th birth anniversary celebration is ongoing. It started with a 9:30 am Mass to be followed by a program and lunch. – Rappler.com