Petitioners hope for ‘constitutional minds’ over Marcos burial ruling
Ahead of the much awaited Supreme Court ruling on the planned hero’s burial for Ferdinand Marcos, the lead counsel of petitioners against the interment maintained that the 1987 Constitution was “anti-dictatorship” in nature and anchored on the recognition and condemnation of the martial law experience.
READ: SC extends suspension of Marcos Libingan burial
Former Akbayan Representative Barry Gutierrez said they were hoping that were still “enough sober and Constitutional minds in the Supreme Court who will heed to the arguments of the petitioners in this case and act on our petition accordingly.”
“The entire structure of the Constitution is really anti-dictatorship. It is anchored on recognition of Martial Law experience, a condemnation of the same, and a warning to the future generation against its repeat,” Gutierrez said in an interview on ANC Headstart.
“We think that the Constitution acts as a prohibition on the Marcos burial. There are various laws that reiterate the sentiment that Marcos was a plunderer, tyrant, and human rights violator,” he added.
Gutierrez said petitioners were not against burying Marcos in any other place, but noted that the late dictator could not be separated from the “entirety of his legacy,” including atrocities committed during martial rule.
“We should not compel the state to recognize Marcos as a hero, which is what will happen if he will be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. It’s not about being vindictive. It’s ensuring that moving forward, we don’t repeat the same mistakes,” Gutierrez said. “There is power in symbols. It’s not just a burial. It’s a symbol of something. If Marcos is buried at Libingan, we are undoing the goodwill, admiration we received as a country.”
“We’re not attempting to remove Marcos’ title as President. But you cant’ take his identity as president and separate that from the entirety of his legacy. How can someone seen as a villain be buried in a heroes’ cemetery?” he added.
The high tribunal’s status quo ante order that temporarily stopped preparations for the planned Sept. 18 burial lapsed on Tuesday, but it will be extended to Nov. 8.
Gutierrez said Duterte’s directive for the hero’s burial “opened up wounds” instead of national healing, noting that the millions of votes received by Marcos’ son and namesake in the last vice presidential race should not be interpreted as a sign of forgiveness from Filipinos.
“Even Bongbong Marcos himself took pains during campaign to separate himself from people’s perceptions of his father. Bongbong wanted to be judged on his own merits as a candidate,” he said.
“This is not a popularity contest. This is something embedded in our fundamental law,” he added. JE
The Supreme Court vs the Marcoses
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.