Row over holiday for Philippine dictator's birthday

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. led the commemoration of the 105th birth anniversary of his namesake late father on Sunday.

Marcos declared September 12 as a special holiday in his home province to mark the occasion, causing dismay among human rights activists.

His 93-year-old mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, joined him in offering prayers at the tomb of the late dictator at the Heroes' Cemetery in Metro Manila.

Marcos Jr. said celebrating his father's birthday will keep his memory alive.

He said, "It is a rebirth, of not, perhaps, the physical body of Ferdinand Marcos, but it is a rebirth of his dreams, of his wisdom, of his love for his country."

Marcos Jr. also met with residents in the northern province of Ilocos Norte, his father's birthplace.

His announcement of the holiday there angered a group of former human rights victims.

The Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law says the holiday declaration disrespects history and human rights.

The older Marcos ruled the country for two decades before he was ousted from office in 1986 through a peaceful "People Power" revolution.

But 36 years later, the Marcos family is back in power.