The Supreme Court (SC) is poised to lay to rest the case filed by some lawmakers seeking the exhumation of the remains of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
According to highly placed SC sources of The Manila Times, on overwhelming majority of the magistrates are set to junk the petition for the exhumation of Marcos’ remains. The source said Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta has circulated his draft decision on the case among his fellow magistrates.
One source said Peralta recommended to “deny with finality” the motions for reconsideration filed questioning the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery.
The court, the source added, will also dismiss the motion to cite for contempt the Marcos family and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for granting the former leader a hero’s burial.
Marcos was interred at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City on Nov. 18, 2016, even if the tribunal’s decision allowing his burial there was not yet final and executory.
The high court is set to vote on the case on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. The session will be the last en ban participation of Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza who will retire on August 13 at the age of 70.
In dismissing the motion for reconsideration, the source said the court will stress its duty was to see to it that Marcos’ interment at the heroes’ cemetery was constitutional. Mendoza’s ponente claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte did not violate the law when he allowed Marcos to be buried at the LNMB with military honors.
Three new justices will participate and vote on the case — Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam and Andres Reyes Jr.
They replaced Associate Justices Jose Perez, Arturo Brion and Bienvenido Reyes.
In November last year, Perez and Brion joined seven other justices who allowed the burial of Marcos at the LNMB. Reyes took nopart in the voting.
The source said that majority of the justices are inclined to uphold their ruling last year.
The petitioners who questioned the hero’s burial include Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Human Rights chairman Loretta Ann Rosales, former Sen. Heherson Alvarez, Zaira Patricia Baniaga, Algamar Latiph and Sen. Leila de Lima.