President Rodrigo Duterte has declared September 11 as a special non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte province to mark the 100th birthday of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Duterte signed Proclamation 310 making Marcos’ birth anniversary a holiday in the province.
“The Ilocano community has been annually celebrating the birthdate of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos, and commemorating his life and contributions to national development as a World War II veteran, distinguished legislator and former president,” he said in his order.
“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the province of Ilocos Norte be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” he added.
Marcos died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989, a few years after he was ousted from Malacañang by the peaceful 1986 people power uprising.
Duterte is close to the Marcoses, and allowed the former president to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani last year amid protests.
On Tuesday, he revealed that the Marcos family had indicated willingness to return a still unspecified amount of money and “a few gold bars.”
The President said a family spokesman had relayed to him the intention of the Marcoses.
But he told reporters that the Marcos family “will not agree to return [the money if]you have them jailed.”
CATHERINE S. VALENTE