Anti-Marcos groups ask SC to reverse decision on Marcos burial at Libingan
Anti-Marcos groups filed separate petitions on Monday for the reversal of a Supreme Court decision upholding President Duterte’s stand that cleared the way for the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
In its motion for reconsideration, the group of desaparecidos represented by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman sought not only the reversal of the Supreme Court’s 9-5 decision on Nov. 8 but also the exhumation and forensic examination of Marcos’ remains.
The group also asked for the issuance of a writ of prohibition stopping the government from making good Mr. Duterte’s campaign promise to the Marcos family to allow the burial of the dictator at the heroes’ cemetery.
Lagman argued that the burial would not put closure to the decades-long fight for justice from the Marcoses, contrary to what the nine justices hoped for in finding for Mr. Duterte.
“The speed and stealth by which the Marcos burial was carried out by the immediate members of the Marcos family shows their incorrigible addiction to deception, underhandedness and abuse, which the Supreme Court must never condone. The precipitate and furtive burial was not only a grand deception against the nation but was [also] a contumacious affront to the high court,” Lagman said.
He pointed out that the justices erred when they based their decision solely on AFP Regulations G 161-375 because that issuance by the Department of National Defense was not effective and enforceable, as it was not registered with the Office of the National Administrative Registrar of the University of the Philippine Law Center as required by the Administrative Code of 1987.
In its petition, the group Selda, or Samahan ng Ex-Detainess Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, led by former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo asked the court to reconsider and set aside its Nov. 8 decision and render new judgment nullifying the defense department and military directives that facilitated the burial.
Ocampo’s group charged that Mr. Duterte and other respondents violated Article II, Section 27 of the Constitution, which states that the “State shall take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption,” when they allowed a “proven thief and tyrant” to be buried at Libingan.
Ocampo said it was not for the Supreme Court to tell the Marcos victims and human rights groups “to move on,” noting that the spreading protests against its decision were “writings on the wall” of the countereffect to the justices’ expectation that the burial would lead to national healing and forgiveness.
“Only the victims can forgive and reconcile with Marcos and his martial law. The majority of the court cannot act on their behalf, they have not been authorized to do so,” he said.
Ocampo appealed to the court not to be “absurdly legalistic” but take a second look at the case with “wisdom and balance.”
Subject to appeal
He said the clandestine burial of Marcos would not moot his group’s petition to block the burial, as the decision was subject to appeal when the Marcoses went ahead with the burial.