Marcos burial not political accommodation – SolGen
The burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is not a matter of political accommodation or whim but should be collectively viewed together with President Duterte’s war on drugs and corruption and peace talks geared toward “changing the national psyche and beginning the painful healing.”
In an 86-page comment, Solicitor General Jose Calida said no cadaver has polarized the country for the longest time other than that of Marcos.
History must be viewed differently, according to Calida.
“Rather than perceiving the past as an excuse for the country’s current woes, it should be seen as a guidepost to combat and deter present and future foes. Simply put, President Duterte wants a change of heart,” Calida said.
The government lawyer told the high court that Duterte’s decision to allow Marcos’ burial at the Libingan is a valid exercise of his prerogative power under the Constitution and the Administrative Code.
“President Duterte, in his wisdom, deems it appropriate to inter the remains of former President Marcos in a parcel of land of the public domain devoted for the purpose of being a military shrine, and recognize his being a former President, a Medal of Valor awardee, a member of the retired military personnel, and a war veteran,” Calida explained.
“President Duterte understands that if this country really intends to extricate itself from the quagmire it is presently embroiled in, history must be viewed differently… President Duterte’s order to allow former President Marcos’ interment at the (Libingan ng mga Bayani) is based on his determination that it shall promote national healing and forgiveness, and redound to the benefit of the Filipino people,” he added.
Also, the Regulations G-161-375 containing the preparations for the Marcos burial at the heroes cemetery of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) are simple following the orders of Duterte.
Duterte’s orders, Calida said, is a his political decision not subject to judicial review.
He added that petitioners claim for compensation being a human rights victim during the martial law years are “distinct and separate from, and cannot in any way be connected to, the intended burial” and petitioners cannot also insist that Marcos’ burial at the Libingan would affect their search for his “ill-gotten wealth.”
Calida explained that the claim for compensation will remain unaffected since the principal source of funds for the reparation, around P10-billion plus accrued interest transferred to the Philippine government, remains intact and will be released after the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB) has approved all the claims. Calida said petitioners failed to establish that any or their rights or privileges had been, or are about to be, denied.
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