Exhumation of Marcos’ body would be ‘unchristian’ – Calida
Digging up the remains of the late tyrant Ferdinand Marcos would be “unchristian,” Solicitor General Jose Calida said on Sunday, insisting that last Friday’s blitzkrieg interment of the deposed strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani did not violate the Supreme Court ruling on the ticklish issue.
Calida, who led government lawyers in articulating before the high court President Duterte’s order allowing the burial of the late dictator at the heroes’ cemetery, said there was no legal impediment to bar the Marcoses from entombing the preserved body of their clan patriarch.
In a mobile phone interview with the INQUIRER, he said urging the magistrates to order the exhumation of Marcos’ body would be against Christian values, which the high court would not sanction.
“That is unchristian. I don’t think the Supreme Court will allow that,” Calida said when asked to comment on the plan of some martial law victims to petition the high court to unearth Marcos’ remains.
He said the SC, in a vote of 9-5 with one abstention, was unlikely to reverse its Nov. 8 decision which overwhelmingly favored the President’s order.
“After deciding by a landslide margin… that there’s nothing illegal in the burial of the remains of Marcos, can you expect the Supreme Court to turnaround and say that the remains should be exhumed?” he said.
“Suntok sa buwan yang ginagawa nila. (They’re just shooting for the moon),” the chief state lawyer added.
As survivors of Marcos’ iron-fist rule and their families were preparing for a “Black Friday” protest, reports about the hurried funeral rites at the Libingan for the late dictator spread like wildfire before noon on Nov. 18.
When the police confirmed that the Marcos family had already laid to rest the former tyrant, students and young professionals stormed out of their schools and offices to join martial law victims in the streets to condemn the surreptitious ceremony.
Vice President Leni Robredo said the burial for Marcos came “like a thief in the night,” pointing out that if the late dictator was really a hero, “his family would not have to hide his burial like a shameful criminal deed.”
But Calida maintained that the status quo ante order, which the SC issued and extended twice to defer the internment of Marcos, was already lifted when it upheld Mr. Duterte’s order.
As in any other cases, he said the high court’s action should be deemed “immediately executory” as it did not order the government to further hold the burial pending the filing of motion for reconsideration of the petitioners.
“Therefore, the (Marcos family and the government) did not violate any order of the court because there was no more legal obstacle for the burial of Marcos,” Calida said.
He said a petition seeking to cite the Marcoses and the Duterte administration in contempt of court “will have no legal basis.”
The solicitor general also maintained that the President’s order to have Marcos interred at the Libingan was “an executive action, a political question.”
“The main cases have been dismissed. Once it is lifted, the order is already executory. You don’t have to wait for a motion for reconsideration (to be resolved) because the status quo ante order has no basis,” he said./rga
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