PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte again defended his decision to allow the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
He defended his decision even as former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Sunday said the protest actions against Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani were a waste of time.
He made his statement two days after thousands of anti-Marcos protesters converged in various locations in Manila and several provinces on “Black Friday” to denounce his burial.
“They’re just wasting their time. They should look for how they can help build our country,” Estrada said.
In a speech Saturday at the San Beda Law Grand Alumni Homecoming in Taguig City, Duterte said his decision to allow Marcos’ burial at the Heroes Cemetery was made objectively and without “compassion and sentiment.”
“We were trained with cold neutrality. I was a prosecutor,” Duterte said.
“We lawyers, we are trained to just look at the law,” Duterte said.
“We are all lawyers here and he was a soldier. If you say that he was a coward and did not receive the valor rightly so, then that’s not my problem. I was not there, I was not a soldier.”
Duterte said he did not have a special friendship with the Marcos family and was in no way beholden to them.
“It was just [courtesy],” he said.
“We never had any dinner together except one or two. I have no personal relationship with them.”
Duterte said his mother also led protests against the Marcos dictatorship.
The only reason she did not end up being arrested was because his father had been governor of Davao province.
Duterte said Davao, during his father’s governorship, was one huge province but was later broken up into several smaller provinces.
“So it’s all politics. The Philippines is all politics,” he said.