When Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos fled the Philippines for a reluctant Hawaiian exile, the angry protesters advancing towards the presidential palace were denied a violent catharsis to their revolution and the return of the Marcoses to politics remained a distant possibility.
Ferdinand never made it back alive, succumbing to lupus in a Honolulu hospital in 1989. In 1993, the Philippine government eventually allowed the repatriation of Marcos’ remains. Put on public display in a concrete mausoleum, it quickly became a tourist attraction. For decades, speculation has been rife that the embalmed figure was a wax replica – that the actual body was hidden elsewhere.
On the 18th of November 2016, Filipinos were surprised to find out that Ferdinand Marcos had been given a secret funeral at the National Hero’s Cemetery – a stunning act of historical revisionism and a political favour granted to the Marcos family by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, whose penchant for despotism has recently been well documented. A video was subsequently posted online of the coffin arriving by helicopter, while police officers with riot shields prevented shocked protesters from entering the cemetery gates. The same day, visitors to the Marcos Mausoleum in Batac were astonished to see his waxen corpse still on display. It was unclear what was buried in Manila a few hours earlier.
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