VICTIMS of martial law asked the Supreme Court to stop the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City.
In their petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for a temporary restraining order, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, Trinidad Herrera Repuno, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Bonifacio Ilagan, Neri Javier Colmenares, Bayan and the Samahan ng Mga Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto said conferment of a hero’s burial to the former leader will have “far-reaching implications.” “This is a matter that has legal, moral and political implications to the country, to the Filipino people, the international community and even the history of mankind,” they added.
Named respondents were Rear Admiral Ernesto C. Enriquez of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP chief Ricardo Visaya, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Marcos heirs represented by Imelda Romualdez Marcos.
The respondents, according to the petitioners, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ordering and allowing Marcos’ burial at the cemetery.
The petitioners cited the 1993 agreement between former President Fidel Ramos and the Marcos family that the former president’s remains will be buried in Ilocos Norte.
“To abandon the agreement, reboot the entire process, exhume his remains and allow his burial at LNMB is to relive the terror and horrors of his victims who have, until now, not been given justice. While his victims will be forgotten, Marcos will be remembered as a president given a hero’s burial in violation of the law and even their contractual commitment with Philippine government,” the petitioners said.
“This will not achieve the purpose of closure espoused or accepted by others. While Marcos rests in peace in LNMB, his victims who continue to cry out for justice, can never rest in peace,” they added.
They pointed out that the planned burial of Marcos was contradictory to Republic Act 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013 which recognized the plight of the victims of human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship.
Malacañang however said President Rodrigo Duterte will not honor the agreement between the Ramos Administration and the Marcos family.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte is not bound to follow the agreement.
“Assuming that there is an agreement, it does not bind the President because that was entered into by a previous president,” he told reporters.
“The President has the discretion to either uphold it or change it or modify. The agreement has been superseded by his decision,” he added.
“The circumstance is different now because we have given the authority to the President to bury the late president Marcos. And the authority is predicated on the overwhelming landslide win by him, given the fact that during the campaign, he repeatedly said that these are the things that he would do as president, one of which is to bury the late president Marcos, to put closure of this issue,” he added.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar reiterated Duterte’s earlier pronouncement that he will allow the Marcos family to bury the remains of the deposed strongman in the cemetery intended for war heroes and former presidents.
The President has asserted that Marcos deserves a hero’s burial because he was a soldier and a former president.