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The Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte during a meeting at a hotel in Davao City, in the Philippines' southern island of Mindanao, on May 15, 2016
Ted Aljibe—AFP/Getty Images

The Philippine President-elect says the country’s late former dictator Ferdinand Marcos — who died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 after his countrymen threw him out of power in a popular uprising — can have a hero’s burial.

Agence France-Presse reports that Rodrigo Duterte will allow Marcos to be interred at a Manila cemetery reserved for military personnel and national heroes, which would give a boost to his family’s hopes of further political rehabilitation.

“I will allow the burial of Marcos in the Heroes’ Cemetery, not because he was a hero but because he was a Filipino soldier,” Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City who won the May 9 elections and is set to assume power next month, told reporters in his hometown.

Although Marcos is accused of widespread human-rights abuses and stealing about $10 billion from the state during two decades in power, his family remains a powerful political force. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., better known by the nickname Bongbong, ran for the vice presidency this year, but preliminary results show he was narrowly beaten, although he has questioned the validity of the results.


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