SC allows Marcos burial at Libingan

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Supreme Court on Tuesday junked seven petitions that sought to block the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani confirming a Manila Times exclusive.

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VICTORIOUS VIGIL Ilocanos light candles spelling out “ilibing na” (bury now) in front of the provincial capitol of Ilocos Norte, birthplace and bailiwick of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. The Supreme Court voted 9-5 to allow the transfer of the remains of the former president to the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City from Batac town in Ilocos Norte. PHOTO BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

VICTORIOUS VIGIL Ilocanos light candles spelling out “ilibing na” (bury now) in front of the provincial capitol of Ilocos Norte, birthplace and bailiwick of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. The Supreme Court voted 9-5 to allow the transfer of the remains of the former president to the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City from Batac town in Ilocos Norte. PHOTO BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

Voting 9-5 with one abstention, the high court also lifted the status quo ante order issued on August 23 and extended twice, allowing the transfer of Marcos’ remains from Batac, Ilocos Norte to the military-run cemetery in Taguig City. The Manila Times earlier reported the Libingan burial would get at least eight votes.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta. Those who concurred were Associate
Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

Those who dissented were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Marvic Victor Leonen, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes did not take part, being a classmate of Duterte at the College of Law in San Beda.

Brion, Perez and Mendoza submitted concurring opinions. Those who penned dissenting opinions were Sereno, Carpio, Leonen and Caguioa. Court spokesman Theodoro Te said more justices could submit separate opinions.

One of the petitioners against the burial, former congressman Neri Colmenares, said they have 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration.

Five arguments

Peralta outlined five arguments on why Marcos should be allowed a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani or LNMB.

First, President Duterte committed no grave abuse of discretion in ordering that the remains of Marcos be buried at the Libingan, because this was done in the exercise of his mandate under Article VII, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution to ensure the faithful execution of all laws, it said. In short, there is no law that prohibits the burial of Marcos at the Libingan.

“Notwithstanding the call of human rights advocates, the court must uphold what is legal and just. And that is not to deny Marcos his rightful place at the LNMB. For even the framers of our Constitution intend that full respect for human rights is available at any stage of a person’s development, from the time he or she becomes a person to the time he or she leaves this earth,” Peralta said.

“There are certain things that are better left for history — not this court — to adjudge.”

Second, Duterte was not bound by the 1992 agreement entered into between former president Fidel Ramos and the Marcos family to have the remains interred in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Third, the President has the power to reserve for public use and for specific public purposes any of the lands of public domain, according to the Administrative Code.

“The majority found that the allotment of a cemetery plot at the LNMB for former President Marcos as a former president and commander-in-chief, a legislator, a secretary of national defense, a military personnel, a veteran, and a Medal of Valor awardee, whether recognizing his contributions or simply his status as such, satisfies the public use requirement,” Peralta said.

Fourth, the court found that under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Regulations G161-375, Marcos’ remains could be interred at the Libingan as he “possessed the qualifications and none of the disqualifications” under the regulations.

“We agree with the proposition that Marcos should be viewed and judged in his totality as a person. While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us,” the ruling said.

Finally, the court said Marcos was never convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. The majority did not agree with the dissenting opinion of Carpio who said Marcos was dishonorably discharged by the 1986 “people power” revolt and thus unworthy of burial at the Libingan.

Brion, in his separate opinion, underscored that the President’s act could not be reviewed by the court because the issue was political in nature, a position also taken by Perez and Mendoza.

In her dissenting opinion, Sereno said the President acted with grave abuse of discretion because the approval of the burial “violated domestic and international law in relation to the obligations to do justice for human rights victims.”

She added that Marcos was a dictator, plunderer and a human rights violator.

Leonen said Marcos was no hero and not even an exemplary public officer.

“He is not worthy of emulation and inspiration by those who suffer poverty as a result of the opportunity lost during his administration,” he said.

Marcoses relieved

Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court ruling.

“I have accomplished my promise to my father that he be laid to rest at LNBM. We are very happy,” Governor Marcos told reporters on Padre Faura Street where supporters held a vigil.

A smaller anti-Marcos group occupied a space on the street in front of the Supreme Court.

Marcos Jr. said he was deeply grateful to the high court.

“We also would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte as his unwavering commitment to this issue sustained us these past several months. Our family will forever be thankful for his kind gesture,” the former senator said.

One of the petitioners against the burial, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, said: “I am shaken, puzzled to no end, that a despot, plunderer was allowed to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.”

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd said he would try to persuade the President to change his heart and stop the burial.

“Maybe the SC decision has established the right of somebody to be buried in a place called LNMB. But no court case will make somebody a hero in the hearts and mind of the people. That cannot be decided through a legal argument,” Pimentel said.

The Makabayan party-list bloc, which also petitioned against the burial, said it was disappointed with the ruling but would keep its support for President Duterte.

“Makabayan is supporting the administration’s pro-people, pro-poor and independent foreign policies. But at the same time, we are staunchly opposed to burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said he hoped the court decision would help the nation to move on.
“We hope the matter will finally be laid to rest, and that the nation find the wherewithal to move forward and to continue forging a nation that is peaceable, just and fair to all,” he said.

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13 Comments

  1. Well he we go once again

    The letter of the law vs the spirit of the Law

    We see here a man who was not only a Dictator ,..That virtually flouted the law when he was alive ..Burt can even continue to do so; even after his death ,,

    For what i can glean from the details given in the media —He lied about his rank ; his service , and his Medals /Honors

    He was, in fact a greedy plunderer –who disgraced his office ..Still millions ;If not billions of peso. have not been recovered …

    Yet he is given a place of honor to be buried ……
    .
    Someone once said “The Law is An Ass”

    Here in The Philippines it seems to ring true ..
    David M Meyer (PhD Psych}

  2. Susundan ko na ang argumento ni CJ Sereno. Marcos is a dictator, plunderer, and human rights violator. Chief Justice ka, anong kaso na nahatulan with finality itong mga krimen na binabangit mo. Isa kang PUNONG MAHISTRADO na ang pina iiral ay emosyon at hindi batas. Yon pinagsasabi mong biktima ng Human Rights? nakita mo na ba o nabasa mo na ba yon listahan? baka magulat ka sa mga pangalan na halatang gawa-gawa lang sa pagmamadali siguro at ipiprisinta sa korte sa Hawaii. Yon tungkol sa Plunder? ano at saan sangay ng gobierno at anong transaction kumulimbat si Marcos. Tatlumpong taon na, hangang ngayon wala maipakitang ibidensya ang pamahalaan dito sa kasong ito. Saan ka nakakita ng kasong 28 years ng dinidinig hanggang ngayon walang ebidensya. Dapat alam mo yan kasi sakop mo ang mga korte. Hindi ka pwedeng maghusga ng walang ebidensya naturingan Punong Mahistrado ka pa naman.

    At tungkol naman kay Pres Marcos, hindi ka ba nagtataka kung bakit itinira siya ng US sa isang napaka rangyang bahay sa napaka exclusivong lugar sa Hawaii. At siya ay nakakapasyal ng libre huwag aalis ng US. Hindi ginawa ng US sa mga diktador ito, Si Shah Pahlavi na tao at kaibigan nila ay hindi pinapasok sa US para operahan sa puso na ikinamatay nito. Si Khomeni ay pinatay, si Hussein ay ibinitay, si Noriega ay dinala rin ng mga sundalo nila sa mainland pero ikinulong sa piitan. Sa sinasabi mong diktdor, bakit napaganda ang pagtrato nila kay Marcos? at bakit isang bantog na bilyonaryong amerikano na si Doris Duke ay palaging nasa hospital na nag aalaga kay Marcos at siya pa ang nagbayad ng lahat ng gastusin sa ospital. Sino ba talaga si Pres Marcos at masyadong mahalaga sa US na dapat dalhin at bansa nila at bantayan at ano ang kailangan nila dito? Kung karumadal dumal na kriminal ito na katulad ng pinalalabas mo Sereno, palagay ko hindi ganito ang pagtrato at pangangalaga ang gagawin nila.
    H

  3. Ang dapat alisin ay ang Ninoy Aquino Monument sa Makati, syan ang nakakahiya. He’s no hero. He is about to be deported from USA but came back immediately to Philippines before that happen and planned his own death. See his interview in the plane.

  4. Unbelievable indeed, in spite of the trillion of dollars accumulated by the yellow empire for 30 years the majority of our Justices upheld the burial of the late President to the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Truth that God still exist.

  5. The CHR strikes again…the self-righteous office in the government which acted as the sole authority to declare what is right, legal, moral and ethical in public service questions the Supreme Court Decision relative to Marcos Burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani.

    According to the “Great CHR”, the Executive is wrong in its War Against Drugs. And Now, the Supreme Court is wrong in its Decision re: petition on Maros Burial.

    It seems that although the Constitution guarantees that the 3 Branches (Legislative, Executive and Judiciary) are co-equal to each other…the CHR has all the wisdom and authority which the said branches of government must bow and respect at all times.

    BUT, fortunately to the CHR, that the true great Miriam Defensor-Santiago is no longer in the politics of the people. Nobody now asking you to present before her a Special Power of Attorney from the Almighty God because you tend to believe that only CHR, LP and the yellowtards has the right to say “what is right” and “what is wrong”.

    “RESPECT THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES!!!”

    • EMPEROR JC
      U are right except lourdes sereno who didn’t understand the law of the land.The justice court of emotion toward LP and yellow…

  6. As usual, Noynoy Aquino appointees doing what they were appointed to do. Keeping SC decisions political and not in accordance to the mandate of the constitution. Expect this trend to continue until a Divine intervention happens.

  7. Enough is enough. The Highest Court of the land has already decided. Let the history judge the former President. not the Supreme Court. Move on….

    • For an ignorant Commie like you who never discover the facts through research because you’re one of the majority of Yellow family! You only base what you know through spoon feeding of your fellow Commies ( media, NPA, Aquino propagandist. Etc)! Comparing FEM to Hitler is just for the ignorant fools!

    • Gago..si hitler bandera ay Nazy party pares ng ke pnoy na yellow flag.. si marcos ang flag ay philippine flag..sino ngayon ang may swastika ..di ba ang L sign..