Opposition on the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig receives another boost.
This time, Senator Lilia de Lima on Tuesday filed another petition before the Supreme Court of the Philippines (SCOTP) to oppose the planned burial as promised by President of the Philippines (POTP) Duterte.
The petition with the high court brings the number to seven.
The seventh petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by De Lima said the memorandum of the Department of National Defense (DND) allowing Marcos burial at LNMB was issued with grave abuse of discretion and was issued beyond the DND’s legal power or authority.
“The DND memorandum order allowing the burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was issued with grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when it ignored Supreme Court jurisprudence and international court decisions declaring Marcos to have accumulated ill-gotten wealth, and therefore unworthy of emulation and inspiration as a President to be buried at the LNMB,” she said in her 38-page petition
She added that Marcos, as a “hero” at the LNMB is “contrary to the spirit and very existence of the 1987 Constitution and the will of the Filipino people that ratified it.”
The 1987 Constitution was crafted after EDSA People Power revolution that overthrew the Marcos from power.
Allowing Marcos to be buried at the LNMB will not only rewrite history but will undermine “the sacrifices, lessons learned and work that was done in order to topple a dictatorship, restore the benefits of freedom and democracy to the Filipino people, and to prevent the rise of another despot, particularly those safeguards that are found, not just in particular provisions of the Philippine Constitution, but in the very existence of said fundamental and sacred document,” De Lima noted.
Named respondents in the petition were Salvador Medialdea, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff, General Ricardo Visaya, Ernesto Carolina in his capacity as Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Brig. General Restituto Aguilar in his capacity as Shrine Curator and Chief Veterans Memorial and Historical Division and heirs of Marcos.
Last Aug. 23. in an en banc decision, the Supreme Court issued a status quo order to grant immediate relief sought in the petitions against the Marcos burial case and enjoining the orders of the Department of National Defense and Armed Forces of the Philippines, prohibiting them from burying him at the Libingan ng mga Bayani for the next 20 days or until Sept. 12.
The order was directed to DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya.
The SC set the oral arguments on the case on Aug. 31 at 10:00 a.m.
The high court has consolidated the six petitions filed by groups of martial law victims, led by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales; a group led by former senator Heherson Alvarez; a group of University of the Philippines students; and former Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao human rights chair Algamar Latiph.
The petitioners argued that the planned burial of the late dictator wass “illegal and contrary to law, public policy, morals and justice.”
They alleged that allowing the burial of the former leader would violate Republic Act No. 289 (law regulating the Libingan ng mga Bayani) and R.A. 10368 (Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act) and also argued that the burial would also violate constitutional provision on state policies.
The Libingan ng mga Bayani, located in Taguig City, is the final resting place for military men who died in the line of duty or who were honorably discharged. It is also the final resting place for former Philippine presidents, Filipino veterans, notable government statesmen, dignitaries and national artists. (PNA report / Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan)
As a side note here, the SCOTP hearing is like a court fight, or better yet a proxy war, between President Duterte and Senator De Lima, only by substitution, who are in a continuing word war on the issue of drugs.