Late Philippines dictator Marcos honoured with postage stamp on 100th birthday

MANILA (AFP) - The late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has been commemorated with a national stamp, a post office official said on Friday (Oct 27), the latest honour for the strongman that has outraged many Filipinos.

The stamp, showing a smiling Marcos with his signature and the words "Birth Centenary", was issued to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth on Sept 11, assistant post master Luis Carlos said.

He insisted the stamp had no political overtones and was released as part of a series of stamps marking presidents' 100th birthdays.

"We are just following the guidelines. The presidents who have birth centenaries have stamps issued," Mr Carlos said.

It comes after President Rodrigo Duterte allowed the dictator's body to be buried in the national "Heroes' Cemetery" in November despite his lengthy record of abuse and corruption.

Mr Duterte, an ally of the Marcos family, has been accused of whitewashing the late dictator's career.

Marcos, his family and their cronies plundered up to US$10 billion (S$13.70 billion) from state coffers and plunged the Philippines into crippling debt during his rule, according to government investigators and historians.

The dictator also oversaw widespread human rights abuses to maintain his control of the country and enable his plundering, with thousands of people killed and tortured, previous Philippine governments said.

He was overthrown by a military-backed popular revolt in 1986 and died in exile in 1989.

Reaction on social media to the Marcos stamp has been largely negative.

"They have a commemorative stamp for Ferdinand Marcos. Go ahead (post office). Do Hitler and Pol Pot too," said one person on Twitter.

"Put the adhesive on the front so we can spit on it," another tweet read.