Caguioa: Libingan burial ‘doesn’t make Marcos a hero’
Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa in his dissenting opinion on allowing the burial of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani said that “burying (Marcos) [at] the LNMB does not make him a hero.” Caguioa said interring Marcos’ remains at the LNMB “is contrary to the Constitution, the law, and several executive issuances that have the force of law, as well as the public policy that the Constitution.”
Here’s a summary of Caguioa’s opinion as released by the Supreme Court public information office:
Justice Alfredo Benjamin S. Caguioa pointed out that the order to inter the remains for former President Marcos at LNMB is contrary to the Constitution, the law, and several executive issuances that have the force of law, as well as the public policy that the Constitution, the said laws, and executive issuances espouse and advance.
He pointed out that the argument “that burying (Marcos) in the LNMB does not make him a hero disregards the status of the LNMB as a national shrine, the public policy in treating national shrines, the standards set forth in these laws and executive issuances as well as in the AFP LNMB burial regulations.” He also disagreed with the Solicitor General’s argument that the President’s power to reserve land for a public purpose under Section 14, Chapter IV, Book III of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987 (RAC) was sufficient basis for the President’s decision to inter the Marcos remains. On this, he noted that the RAC provision (as well as Sec. 83 of CA 141 or The Public Land Act) both required the President to exercise this power by proclamation or executive order. The President’s order to inter is a verbal order, which falls short of the manner prescribed by law for its exercise.
“Burying (Marcos) in the LNMB does not make him a hero [and] disregards the status of the LNMB as a national shrine, the public policy in treating national shrines, the standards set forth in these laws and executive issuances as well as in the AFP LNMB burial regulations.”
He also disagreed that interring the Marcos remains constituted a public purpose for purpose of the RAC considering the Solicitor General’s admission that the burial of the Marcos remains was a campaign promise of the President to the Marcos family. In his opinion, this indicated that the interment serves no public purpose and does not justify the disbursement of public funds therefor.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the hero’s burial for Marcos at the LNMB, ruling that President Rodrigo Duterte did not commit grave abuse of discretion in ordering Marcos’ interment at the heroes’ cemetery. Junking all petitions against Duterte’s directive with a vote of 9-5, the high tribunal maintained that no law prohibits Marcos’ burial at Libingan, and that President Duterte “acted within the bounds of law and jurisprudence.” CDG
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