MANILA, November 8, 2016 (PNA) — The Supreme Court (SC) today allowed President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to bury former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City.
In a 9-5 vote, the High Court dismissed all petitions seeking to block the move.
Voting to allow the late strongman’s burial at the LNMB were the following Associate Justices:
- Presbitero J. Velasco Jr.
- Teresita J. Leonardo-de Castro
- Arturo D. Brion
- Diosdado M. Peralta
- Mariano C. Del Castillo
- Lucas P. Bersamin
- Jose P. Perez
- Jose C. Mendoza
- Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe
Those who opposed the move were:
- Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno
- Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio
- Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza
- Associate Justice Marvic F. Leonen
- Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa
Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, meanwhile, inhibited from the case.
The SC first issued a status quo ante order (SQA) issued on the matter last August 23, later extending it on September 7.
But at the conclusion of oral arguments on September 7, the SC extended the effectivity of the order.
On October 18, the high court extended for the second time the halt order until November 8, according to SC spokesman Theodore Te.
The High Court consolidated the seven petitions filed by groups of martial law victims, led by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, and former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales, a group led by former Senator Heherson Alvarez, a group of University of the Philippines students, former Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao human rights chair Algamar Latiph, and Senator Leila de Lima.
The petitioners argued that the planned burial of the late dictator was “illegal and contrary to law, public policy, morals, and justice.”
They claimed that allowing the burial of the former leader would violate Republic Act No. 289 (the law regulating the Libingan ng mga Bayani) and R.A. 10368 (Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act) and also argued that the burial would violate the constitutional provision on state policies.
Solicitor General Jose Calida, however, invoked the President’s authority under the Constitution and Revised Administrative Code to decide on political questions that do not involve any justifiable issue for the high court to resolve.
During the oral arguments before the SC, Calida argued that it is within the powers of the President to decide on whether or not to allow the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery.
Calida said Marcos is qualified to be buried at the LNMB because he is a former President, a Medal of Valor awardee, a war veteran, and a statesman. (Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)