SC extends stay vs Marcos burial

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ORAL BATTLE Solicitor General Jose Calida (left) chats with former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo before the start of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court on the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. PHOTO  BY RUSSELL PALMA

ORAL BATTLE Solicitor General Jose Calida (left) chats with former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo before the start of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court on the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

THE SUPREME Court on Wednesday extended to October 18 the status quo order halting the planned burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, giving the magistrates more time to study the case.

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This means there will be no interment at the Heroes’ Cemetery in Taguig this month as planned by the late strongman’s family with the permission of President Rodrigo Duterte, who promised to allow the burial during the election campaign to put an end to a lingering issue.

The court en banc first issued a 20-day status quo ante order on August 23, at the request of petitioners seeking to block the burial, mostly victims of Martial Law.

On Wednesday, the parties were ordered to submit their respective memoranda to the court within 20 days, following a second round of oral arguments.

Government lawyers told the high tribunal Marcos’ achievements as a soldier who fought against the Japanese during World War 2 would not be diminished just because he was ousted by the EDSA “People Power” revolt in 1986.

Solicitor General Jose Calida was asked by Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro if the removal of Marcos from the presidency could be considered as a basis for stripping him of honors, such as the Medal of Valor, as a war hero.

“It is in the position of the State that once it (Medal of Valor) is awarded, it cannot be diminished. It cannot be nullified,” Calida said during the oral arguments.

“Based on military standards, given to a Medal of Valor awardee, former President Marcos fits to the definition of a hero,” Calida added.

Imelda’s pension
Marcos was awarded the Medal of Valor, the highest Philippine military accolade, in October 1958 for fighting the Japanese forces in Bataan in January 1942.

Proof of gratitude of the Philippine government, said Calida, is the pension given by the State to Marcos’ widow, former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos.

Mrs. Marcos has been receiving a P25,000 monthly pension—P20,000 for the former President’s Medal of Valor and P5,000 for his military service—since 1994.

This was not disputed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

NHCP Chairwoman Ma. Serena Diokno said her agency only probed the war medals that Marcos allegedly claimed to have received from the United States Army.

For the Commission on Human Rights headed by Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Marcos should be denied a place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because of rights abuses committed during Martial Law.

“It is our opinion that burying him at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be contrary to international and national laws with respect to human rights,” said Gascon.

Victims’ pain
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno asked government lawyers if allowing the burial would only bring pain to the victims of Martial Law, pointing out that there was no confession or acknowledgement of the abuses during the Marcos regime.

“Aren’t we disacknowledging the pain of the victims by the burial?” Sereno asked.

Calida said mere burial won’t erase the history, and that “hope springs eternal” as regards the healing of human rights victims.

The Marcos family’s lawyer, Hyacinth Rafael-Antonio, said the emotions of the victims have no relevance to the case, as the burial is allowed by military regulations.

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11 Comments

  1. Delaying tactics, what is it they need to further study? Everyone knows the stand and issues by pros and cons. All they have to do is vote on it then move on. There are far more pressing and important issues that SC must resolve or even start attending to. You are wasting your time and the resources.

  2. We cannot separate the soldier-president from the plunderer/dictator/human rights abuser. To bury the soldier is also to bury the plunderer/human rights abuser in the Heroes’ Cemetery.

    To bury the plunderer/dictator in the Heroes’ Cemetery, just because AFP regulations allow it ABSURD, UNJUST, and morally WRONG!

  3. The SC justices are pretending they need more time in order to study the issue of Marcos burial. They could have arrived at a decision in a matter of one or two days, if they really wanted to do so.

  4. The Supreme Court should dismiss this case because it has no jurisdiction because there is no such law about this matter such that this can be characterized as ‘political question’ the exercise of which is best left to the Executive which Duterte has already done. To do otherwise will open a floodgate of cases before the Supreme Court when somebody do not like that somebody be buried at LMNB.

    The Supreme Court has no business deciding who and who should not be buried in that cemetery.

  5. This is very frustrating. I agree with VG, Lupo and Georgy.

    The SC is controlled by Aquino appointees. No surprise about the extension and Sereno’s obvious partiality. My dear Chief Justice Sereno, what “disacknowledging the victims” are you talking about???

    Law is law.

    The SC clearly is trying to were out Marcos supporters. Justice delayed. Justice denied. They literally know how to mean it with this extension.

    This country will never heal unless President Marcos is buried at the LNMB.

  6. mabait na pinoy on

    What happens if the Martial Law victims will succeed? Is this going to make them feel better? Is this going to improve their lives? Philippines was founded on Christian principles and every Sunday, we go to church and say our prayers, asking forgiveness for our sins, and thanking Him for the Blessings He has given us.. “Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.”…is part of the prayer we should remember always. Marcos is dead, at hindi na nabuhay muli, at ang ibig sabihin nito, siya’y tao laman, katulad din nating makasalanan… Payagan na sanang ilibing at mag umpisa tayo muli bilang isang bayan na maglakbay para sa magadang kinabukasan.

  7. Why another delay? what is the so-called “supreme court” waiting for? trying to see which way the wind will blow so it can adjust its decision, waiting for payment?

    Or being a sloth, a slug and an asinine institution, it is not capable of thinking and taking action beyond a snail’s pace; and hopelessly incapable of arriving at correct conclusion, because it is only used to a “guided”, scripted, paid decision?

    Maybe FM’s burial will overtaken by the third world war.

    These “unicorn justices” are the worst and ultimate embarrassment of being a pilipino, not President Duterte.

  8. ……“It is our opinion that burying him at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would be contrary to international and national laws with respect to human rights,” said Gascon. Commission on Human Rights headed by Jose Luis Martin Gascon, Marcos should be denied a place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because of rights abuses committed during Martial Law……

    Mr Gascon, the rules and regulations or the law that support to Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani has nothing to do with the international and national laws with respect to human rights….kindly read the full context in the Philippine Constitution that could support your claim…..hindi ka dapat sa CHR! Wag nyo pong gamitin ang international laws, because you cannot find a single statement that could support your claim, neither to prevent a burial of dead President Ferdinand Marcos in the said cemetery…..

  9. That is a very accepted facts…maybe the anti-Marcos should open their minds to the truth behind said human rights violations, which the CPP-NPA-NDF is the number one violator. Marcos then just did the right thing to save the majority lives of the Filipinos, particularly the youth falling to the wrong side. In addition to the said facts, Marcos regime is the best ever administration that brought most of the best economic prosperity, which the Aquino regimes (Cory and Noynoy) tried to or intentionally stripped-off from the Philippine History!

    To the Supreme Court, The “Libingan ng mga Bayani” has its own rules and regulations….Soldiers and Presidents of the Republic of the Philippines will always have the right to be buried in the said cemetery….that’s what was written in the law. WALA TAYONG KARAPATAN PIGILAN ANG BATAS!

  10. The so-called victims of martial law have nobody to blame, but, themselves. They followed, nay, obeyed the orders of Joma Sison and Ninoy Aquino to join them in order that they can bring down the then current government, which, incidentally, was under the control of the duly elected people lead by Marcos. They even used the studentry because they thought the strategy would worked just like what happened to Indonesia. Indonesian students were very successful in bringing down the government of Sukarno. But, unknown to Sison and Aquino, Marcos had already been prepared for the event. So, the authorities rounded up the students and other elements that were intending to join the Sison-Aquino forces. For those who died – well – they could have been killed by the men of Sison-Aquino, because of one reason or another. For one, maybe they refused to join the Sison-Aquino movement as they realized it was a Communist movement. The students that had been detained were happier as they survived the ordeal and are still alive today because their detention had saved them from being killed by the Communist movement and which could have been blamed on Marcos. That is why, more Filipinos, in fact, more than 90%, were, and are still, very thankful that martial law happened. The Communist failed to take over the government. Besides, martial law was very good to those who did not go against the government!

    • Why is this before the SC? There is no legal question here. FM was a past president, and a decorated veteran of the AFP. The SC should not be hearing political cases. What will they do next? Let’s say DU30’s war on drugs ends successfully 6 months and 1 day after he took office. Will they hear a case to remove DU30 and install Roxas as President, because DU30 lied about ending the war in 6 months? Hear is a thought, replace all SC justices who are not committed to fixing the court system.