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De Lima mulls asking SC’s help to stop Marcos hero’s burial

/ 04:52 PM August 15, 2016
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Senator Leila de Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

With Malacañang saying that President Rodrigo Duterte stands firm on giving state honors to the ousted former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Senator Leila de Lima said that she would turn to the Supreme Court to stop the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

READ: Palace: Duterte firm on Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

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De Lima, in a roundtable interview with Inquirer editors and reporters on Monday, said that she would file a petition for certiorari or a temporary restraining order at the Supreme Court to stop the burial of the deposed dictator in September.

“The best option at the moment is legal. Resort to the Supreme Court,” said De Lima. “We will ask for a temporary restraining order, it will be a petition for certiorari or prohibition.”

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The senator said that she might file a separate petition or join other petitioners who oppose the move, such as her fellow Senator Risa Hontiveros.

“What I know is several groups will be filing [petitions]. In fact, I want to be a co-petitioner. I am still mulling over whether I will have my own separate petition or together with some like-minded senators like Sen. Risa [Hontiveros] or just co-petitioner to any petition filed by other groups,” she said.

De Lima said that they are in the process of developing legal arguments and theories to support their petition.

The former secretary of justice and human rights chairperson explained that while there is no law prohibiting the burial of the former President at the heroes’ cemetery, the state is not compelled to accept all those who are on the list of persons who are allowed to be buried at the Libingan.

“There is no law specifically prohibiting [the burial]. But the law which tries to enumerate those who can be buried at the Libingan does not really mandate or compel the state to accept any and all those who belong in the enumeration to be buried there,” De Lima said.

“It allows but it does not mandate. There is difference from authorizing [or] allowing, from mandating,” she said.

The senator also said that Republic Act No. 10368 which provides reparations for martial law victims, can be used analogously and as proof of the “sins of the dictator.”

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READ: Libingan burial for Marcos an insult to his victims–Leila

On the argument that it is the President’s discretion to grant Marcos a hero’s burial, De Lima said that the government should be “cognizant of the historical facts and the ethical and moral grounds in support of the opposition.”

The Armed Forces Regulation 161-375 provides who may be buried at the Libingan. The list includes Medal of Valor awardees; secretaries of National Defense; Commanders-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; veterans of the Philippine Revolution, World Wars I and II and recognized guerillas; and former Presidents, widows of former Presidents, national artists, and statesmen.

Despite staunch opposition from various sectors and even some of his allies, Duterte has reiterated that the former President is “qualified” to be buried at the Libingan because he is a former soldier and Chief Executive. RAM/rga

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TAGS: Libingan ng mga Bayani, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, President Rodrigo Duterte, SC, Senator Leila de Lima, Supreme Court
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