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THOUSANDS BID FAREWELL TO MARCOS AT HIS TOMB

SHARE THOUSANDS BID FAREWELL TO MARCOS AT HIS TOMB

Ferdinand E. Marcos was entombed in an air-conditioned mausoleum as thousands of loyalists said farewell to the ousted Philippines president.

The mausoleum also is outfitted with a small chandelier; a religious statue surrounded by flowers sits on a shelf. Marcos' favorite slippers, pajamas and golf cap were placed in his coffin, said Col. Arturo Aruiza, a Marcos adviser for 21 years."He was my hero; he was my general. He was my teacher, my friend. He was my father," Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said during the tribute to his father Sunday.

Later the son, who is known as "Bong Bong," told the crowd, "Weep not, for you sat at the feet of a man touched by God."

Enrique Fernando, the last Philippine Supreme Court chief justice during Marcos' presidency, collapsed during the speech in hot, humid weather and was taken to St. Francis Medical Center.

Marcos died at the hospital Sept. 28 at age 72. He had lived in exile in Honolulu since February 1986, when he was ousted by a civilian-military uprising following a disputed election, and replaced by Corazon Aquino.

Hospital officials said the 74-year-old Fernando was stable Sunday night. Marcos spokesman Roger Peyuan said Fernando has a history of heart disease but didn't suffer a heart attack.

More than 2,500 people waited hours for Marcos' widow, Imelda, to arrive at the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park with her husband's body.

More than a dozen men rolled Marcos' casket up a long, winding hillside drive, with hundreds of mourners walking behind. When the pallbearers reached the stairs leading to the small mausoleum, elderly retired Philippine generals were replaced by younger men.

Marcos' widow wants to return his body to the Philippines for burial, but Aquino has refused, saying it could provoke unrest. Marcos' followers have asked the country's Supreme Court to overturn the ban but there is no indication when the 15-judge panel will issue a ruling.

The mausoleum was designed as a temporary resting place in hopes the remains will eventually be returned to his homeland.

At the ceremony, there were prayers and a blessing by Monsignor Domingo Nebres, the Philippine priest who drew the wrath of the Honolulu Catholic Diocese for comparing Marcos to Jesus Christ during a funeral Mass Friday.

Imelda Marcos sang "Ave Maria" and "The Lord's Prayer."