SC to hold argument on petition to stop Marcos hero’s burial
The Supreme Court has opted to conduct an oral argument on a petition that seeks to stop the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Oral argument is set on Aug. 24.
The high court also ordered the respondents military, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Marcos heirs to comment on the petition within a non-extendible period of five days.
The high court issued the order following a petition filed by human rights victims during the martial law years.
In their petition, they urged the high court to nullify memorandum dated Aug. 7, 2016 issued by Lorenzana ordering Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Ricardo R. Visaya to start the preparations for the interment and the transfer of Marcos’ remains to the Libingan.
The petitioners said respondents committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ordering and allowing Marcos’ burial at the Libingan.
Petitioners include former party-list Representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares as well as Trinidad Repuno, Bienvenido Lumbera, Bonifacio Ilagan, Maria Carolina Araulo, Samahan ng Ex-Detainees laban sa Detensyon at Aresto represented by Dionito Cabillas, Carmencita Florentino, Rodolfo Del Rosario, Felix Dalisay and Danilo Dela Fuente.
“For how can such honesty and integrity be promoted and defended when a dishonest and disgraced public official, such as Ferdinand E.Marcos, after his removal from power, can snatch respect and thereby rewrite not only history but his culpability via the back door of declaring and celebrating him a hero,” the petition stated.
“The public respondent’s decision to re-furbish the tattered image of Ferdinand E. Marcos also goes against the constitutional precept that corruption, just like the ill-gotten wealth that it spawns, is never forgotten and hence the action against its rich proceeds never prescribes,” it added.
“In fact, the reverse is true and Marcos is not qualified under any law or guideline. While Marcos was a former President of the Philippines and a soldier who allegedly valiantly fought during World War II, a claim that is more a concocted self-serving and grandiose fable than a fact the interment of his remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is contrary to law,” they said.
During the martial law years, thousands were arrested, tortured and summarily executed.
The petitioners said the country’s experience under the Marcos dictatorship “should not be emulated and cannot serve as an inspiration to this generation and to the next generation of Filipinos.” RAM/rga