MANILA, Philippines — The demonstrations against the surreptitious burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery started on Friday afternoon in several locations across the country.
A main event of the “Black Friday” protests held at Rizal Park in Manila attracted droves of protesters from various sectors and universities despite the downpour.
The groups carried posters declaring Marcos a “tyrant” who is “no hero” and condemning President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to have the deceased leader laid to rest at the national shrine.
Black Friday protest centers
The crowd at Luneta, clad in black, prepared to burn effigies of Marcos and egged motorists to honk in support of the protests.
In a statement, the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang called for a united front to expose “Marcosian ideology” which espoused authoritarianism.
“The Marcosian ideology is a governance framework justifying strongman rule, that it cannot go wrong, that it cannot be doubted, because the ruler has ‘all the best intentions’ for country and people,” the coalition said.
It also criticized Duterte for giving into a “crass political accommodation in the guise of a presidential campaign promise” to have Marcos buried at the Libingan. Marcos has been accused of massive corruption and human rights violations in his two-decade term.
Duterte has ordered the military to stay in their camps and the police to deploy only a lean force for Friday’s protests.
Meanwhile, a small group of students who call themselves “Duterte youth” also assembled near the protest site with a long banner declaring support for Duterte’s decision to have Marcos buried at the state cemetery.
The Luneta protest is expected to last until late Friday evening. The events are also set to be followed by days of protests in the coming weeks. — Camille Diola; Map by RP Ocampo