By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte confirmed reports that the Marcos family has indeed asked him to declare the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ birth centennial September 11 a special nonworking holiday in Ilocos Norte.
Duterte, in an ambush interview in Cagayan de Oro City, justified his decision to declare the late strongman’s birthday a holiday in his home province.
“Yes [they requested]. And I readily agreed. Bakit (Why), what’s wrong?” Duterte asked reporters in Cagayan de Oro City Saturday evening.
“He was a president. To the Ilocanos, he was the greatest president. Why do we have to debate on that?” he added.
Duterte said others may view the late dictator as an evil person but said the sentiment is not shared by all, especially the Ilocanos.
“It’s one day when they can celebrate the anniversary of a great Ilocano. As far as the Ilocanos [are] concerned, Marcos is a hero,” he said.
“[To others], sa tingin nila, si Marcos ay masamang tao (they think Marcos is an evil person). But that is not shared, that sentiment, that view is not shared by all.” he added.
“To the Ilocanos, that’s a lot of hogwash. Basura ‘yan (That’s rubbish),” he continued.
Duterte said he would also readily declare a special nonworking areas in provinces to celebrate their own “great sons” if they would request for it.
“Pagdating ng mga Pampangueño [If the Pampangueños], they want to celebrate also a great son of theirs, then go ahead. O Cebuano, o ‘di sige. Bakit pa natin pag-awayan ‘yan (Or the Cebuanos, go ahead. Why should we fight over this)?” he said.