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SC ruling on FM burial draws mixed reactions

It is history, not the place of burial, that should judge a person.

Administration Rep. Alfredo Benitez (PDP-Laban, Negros Occidental) aired this view as he urged the country to accept the 9-5 Supreme Court (SC) ruling allowing the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

“Let us move on,” stated Benitez even as some of his Lower House colleagues remained adamant over the decision that rejected a petition by critics of the former president to block President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to allow an LNMB burial.

Liberal Party stalwarts Reps. Kaka Bag-ao of Dinagat Island and Rav Rocamora of Siquijor Island were disappointed with the decision.

A lawyer, Bag-ao said the decision is an “affront to the democracy we have rebuilt”, adding that the issue is not “simply a legal issue”, but a moral one.

“The current political realities have brought us to this conjuncture where we are constantly challenged to choose between what we can live with and what we ought to die for’” said Bag-ao, a member of the Malacañang-backed majority bloc.

Rocamora, a former provincial prosecutor, admitted that the SC had given the opposing sides of the issue the chance to argue on their respective points, adding that the legal argument “have been thoroughly deliberated”.

“Let me join other Filipinos in raising our opposition to this travesty. I respect the Court’s decision but I have never nor will I ever recognize Marcos as a hero,” the administration solon said.

Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque lamented that his bill seeking to rename the heroes burial ground into “Libingan ng mga Bayani at mga Dating Pangulo”.

“Whether or not we agree with it, he was allowed to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I still feel strongly that this would not have been as divisive as it is today had they passed my law renaming Libingan into “Libingan ng mga Bayani at mga Dating Pangulo,” but we need to move on since the highest court of the land has spoken,” said Roque. (BEN R. ROSARIO)