Philippine gov't defends decision on hero burial for Marcos

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.