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Coup leader calls for Marcos' burial at heroes' cemetery.

Ex-dictator 'has not been tried for any crime'

Manila Senator Juan Ponce Enrile who led a successful coup against former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 said Marcos should be accorded a burial at the national heroes' cemetery.

"He has not been tried of any crime although there are claims about certain behaviours and venalities in his government," said Enrile.

Enrile was one of the architects in the people-backed military mutiny which paved the way for the ouster of Marcos and the ascent of Corazon Aquino in 1986.

Allegations about Marcos having stashed ill-gotten wealth and allegations of rights abuses "have to be judged by the people and the courts in a proper case," argued Enrile.

Enrile's statement came after former First Lady Imelda Marcos said she was optimistic that her husband would be given a hero's burial at the national heroes' cemetery.

"That [burial] will happen. He had [the] most medals in the Second World War. He was president for two terms; a real hero," said the former first lady, who was elected to congress in the May 10 polls.

"It will come. Maybe not tomorrow but sometimes justice and truth grinds exceedingly slow, but they grind well. I am not afraid about that," she added.

Marcos was an Army lieutenant during the Second World War. He claimed to have led a guerilla unit of 8,000 soldiers and said he received 300 war medals including the US Congressional Medal of Honour for his exploits.

Exposed

But an anti-Marcos newspaper, We Forum, published in the 1970s a series of exposes by Bonifacio Gillego who claims that Marco's medals are fake. Marcos ordered the closure of the paper and the arrested its editor and publisher, Jose Burgos Jr.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Jejomar Binay who is reviewing the request of the Marcos family said: "I have a strong opinion about it, but I will give it a fair hearing."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 4, 2011
Words:332
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