Asia

Philippine gov't defends decision on hero burial for Marcos

  • Anti-Marcos protesters holds slogans in a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Anti-Marcos protesters holds slogans in a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos flashes the "V" sign for victory near their anti-Marcos counterparts as they hold a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Supporters of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos flashes the "V" sign for victory near their anti-Marcos counterparts as they hold a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • A supporter of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos holds a fan near anti-Marcos counterparts as they hold a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    A supporter of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos holds a fan near anti-Marcos counterparts as they hold a rally outside the Philippine Supreme Court in Manila, Philippines to coincide with the oral arguments following petitions filed by various civil society groups opposing the hero's burial of Marcos at the Heroes Cemetery on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos said Wednesday the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's human rights victims. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

Lawyers for the Philippine government and heirs of Ferdinand Marcos say the late dictator is qualified to be buried at a heroes' cemetery as a former president and war veteran despite opposition from his regime's victims.

Solicitor General Jose Calida defended President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to allow Marcos' burial at the military-run Heroes' Cemetery at the resumption Wednesday of Supreme Court hearings on the victims' petitions against the burial.

Calida said that the cemetery is not a national pantheon, and that its name is a misnomer because there is no standard or body defining what a hero is, and burying Marcos there will not confer him the title of a hero.

Marcos was ousted in a 1986 "people power" revolt and died in exile in Hawaii in 1989.