THE proposal to bury former President Ferdinand Marcos appears to have divided the Supreme Court (SC), which is expected to tackle the controversial case on Tuesday.
According to well-placed sources of The Manila Times in the high court, two draft decisions have been circulated by two justices who presented divergent views.
Associate Justice Benjamin Alfredo Caguioa, the ponente of the case, released among the justices a draft of his more than 60-page ponencia late Monday afternoon.
The source said Caguioa rejected the grant of a hero’s burial to Marcos and moved to grant the petition of various groups blocking the burial of the late strongman at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig City.
Caguioa’s draft ponencie clashed with the opinion of Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, who also circulated his “reflections” on the case Monday.
The source said Peralta supported the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
He added that some justices took the side of Peralta while others leaned towards Caguioa.
“Sigurado nag hati ang Court kasi magka-kontra na yung dalawang drafts sa Marcos burial. But definitely may numero na on both sides (It looks like the court is divided because the two drafts clashed),” another SC source said.
The case was included in the agenda of the court en banc todayas Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno returns from her wellness leave.
The justices however may not vote on the case today since the draft ponencia and the separate opinion were circulated only on Monday.
The status quo ante order (SQAO) issued by the tribunal that prevented the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani expires today.
President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing for the interment of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery.
However, several groups and personalities, including former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales and former Senator Heherson Alvarez, asked the court to stop the planned burial.
On Tuesday, Marcos’ eldest daughter Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos led a prayer vigil outside the SC compound in Padre Faura St., Manila. Marcos loyalists marched to Manila from Ilocos Norte Friday, with stops in Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan.
Marcos called for national unity and asked that her father be buried at the Libingan.
“I think there’s nothing wrong in expressing our firm stand that Apo Marcos should now be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani along with soldiers, and all those awarded with medals.”
“To all those opposing (Marcos burial), let’s give this one to the President and to us Ilocanos as one way to forge national unity. We can expect all wounds to heal once my father is buried in the Libingan,” she stressed.
“To those who are criticizing and who are not allied with us, I hope you set aside your grievances. All of us have anger and bitterness in our hearts but we should set that aside because, as the pope said: ‘When we forgive, you will be free and happy’,” Marcos told reporters.
Marcos and his wife Imelda led their family into US exile in 1986 after a military-backed “People Power” revolution toppled him from power.
Marcos died in Hawaii three years later. His embalmed body was brought back to the Philippines in 1993 and placed in a glass-topped casket at his northern Philippine home.