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SC to decide on Marcos burial today

The Supreme Court (SC) is expected to deliberate this morning and decide on the issue involving the burial of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the decision of President Duterte on Marcos’s burial at the LNMB.

But the President has said that he would respect the SC’s decision on the issue.

“We will follow what the Supreme Court says, for, after all, it is the Supreme Court which interprets the law and decides which of the public interest is served among the contending parties,” the President said in Davao City before he departed for his six-day official visit to Brunei and China.

The SC’s status quo ante order (SQAO) that stopped temporarily the implementation of the President’s decision on Marcos’s burial expires today.

After the oral arguments were concluded last month, the SC extended up to Oct. 18, 2016 the SQAO issued on Aug. 23, 2016.

The petitions against Marcos’ burial at the LNMB were filed by a group of Martial Law victims led by former Bayan Muna Party-List Rep. Satur Ocampo, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former Commission on Human Rights chairperson Etta Rosales; a group led by former Sen. Heherson Alvarez; a group of students from the University of the Philippines; and former Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao human rights chair Algamar Latiph.

They claimed that the LNMB burial of Marcos is “illegal and contrary to law, public policy, morals and justice” as it would violate Republic Act No. 289 and R.A. 10368, the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act.

Representing the government, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida said that burying former President Marcos at the LNMB “is not to honor him as a hero, even if by military standards he is, but to accord him the simple mortuary befitting a former President, commander-in-chief, and soldier.”

He said that Marcos was not only former President as he was a member of Congress, Senate president, and a recognized military and war veteran. (REY G. PANGILINAN)