Activists were stunned that Mr. Marcos, a dictator blamed for thousands of deaths, was being interred in the country’s equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery.
MANILA — The remains of the Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos were buried Friday at the national cemetery. A brief announcement a few hours beforehand stunned activists and Marcos opponents who said he did not deserve the honor.
The service, which was closed to the public, began around noon at the cemetery, the Philippines’ equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery. Journalists posted photos on social media of police with riot shields barricading the entrance to the cemetery in Taguig City, part of greater Manila.
The reburial of Mr. Marcos, which his family had sought for decades, was approved by the Supreme Court on Nov. 8. But while the family had said it would proceed with the funeral plans, the announcement on Friday, coming shortly before the service was to start, was unexpected. Opponents of the decision had planned a demonstration that day.
Mr. Marcos was ousted in a popular uprising in 1986 and died in the United States three years later. His body was brought back to the Philippines in 1993 and has been stored in a crypt in his hometown, Batac.
Opponents of the burial, which included many people tortured during Mr. Marcos’s long rule, argued that the decision was part of an effort to whitewash the period. The Marcos government is believed to have killed more than 3,000 political opponents and tortured tens of thousands. A government commission estimated that members of the Marcos family and their associates plundered about $10 billion from the country.
An appeal of the Supreme Court’s decision was pending, but President Rodrigo Duterte, a strong supporter of the Marcos family, said this week that the burial would proceed unless the court said that it should not.
Vice President Leni Robredo, a human rights lawyer who is not a member of Mr. Duterte’s party, issued a statement saying the Marcos family had acted “like a thief in the night.”
“He is no hero,” she said of Mr. Marcos. “If he were, obviously his family would not have to hide his burial like a shameful criminal deed.”