Martial Law victims filed a petition on August 15 to the Supreme Court to halt the government’s plans of giving the dictator Ferdinand Marcos a hero’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.
In the petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction that called Marcos’ burial “bizarre,” the victims said that the Marcoses, the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines “committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ordering and allowing the burial of the remains of Marcos at the national hero’s cemetery.”
“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,” the victims said in their petition.
The petitioners claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to give Marcos a hero’s burial is a violation of Republic Act 289, which states that only a president or a solider worthy of public inspiration and emulation should be buried at the hero’s cemetery.
They also noted how Marcos’ burial would violate the 1992 agreement between the Marcoses and the Ramos administration that stated how the dictator’s remains should be laid to rest in Ilocos Norte.
“To abandon the agreement, reboot the entire process, exhume his remains and allow his burial at LNMB is to relieve the terror and horrors of his victims who have, until now, not been given justice,” the petitioners said.
They added, “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 the Philippine government.”
The petitioners were led by activist leaders and former political detainees such as former Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo, Neri Colmenares and Bonifacio Ilagan. Other petitioners included Trinidad Herrera Repuno, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) represented by Carol Araullo, National Artist Prof. Bienvenido Lumbera, and Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) represented by Dionito Cabillas, Carmencita Florentino, Rodolfo del Rosario, Felix Dalisay and Danilo dela Fuente, the Philippine Star reported.
Named respondents were Rear Admiral Ernesto Enriquez, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and the heirs of the late strongman represented by his spouse, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos.
Palace will respect SC’s decision but Duterte remains firm in his decision
Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo said Malacañang will respect the Supreme Court’s decision on the human right victims’ petition.
“We welcome the petition. We welcome any opposition. Let the courts decide as to the validity of the decision of the President,” he said.
The day before the petition was filed, Duterte stood by his decision to bury Marcos at the Libingan.
“There is clarity in the regulations governing the late President Marcos burial. The President shall therefore remain undistracted,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.
Thousands of protesters staged a protest at the Rizal Park despite the bad weather to urge Duterte to reconsider his decision. Among those in attendance were defeated presidential candidate Mar Roxas and Senators Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, and Risa Hontiveros.
Sources: (philstar.com, gmanetwork.com)