Expectedly, the Supreme Court’s (SC) 9-5-1 decision to allow the burial of former strongman President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) has revived a deeply rooted division between Marcos loyalists and anti-Marcos activists among Filipinos.
The SC dismissed the petitions seeking to bar Marcos’ LNMB burial strictly on existing legal parameters. Administered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the LNMB serves as a final resting place for former Filipino presidents, war veterans, soldiers (who have not been dishonorably discharged or convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude), statesmen, dignitaries, and national artists. Marcos, of course was never convicted of any crime while alive.
Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Presbitero Velasco Jr, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Teresita de Castro, Jose Mendoza, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe dismissed the petitions, while Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Marvic Mario Victor Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa agreed. Justice Bienvenido Reyes abstained.
The Court noted President Rodrigo Duterte committed no grave abuse of discretion when he ordered Marcos’ burial at LNMB because it was his prerogative. To his credit, he even opted for the Supreme Court to first resolve the issue.
His latest go signal to the Marcoses, however, for their burial plans, before the High Court could finally resolve the petitioners’ motion for reconsideration could create troubles for him. Be that as it may, it is best for us to respect the final SC decision on the matter.
In perspective, the SC justices took a clinical approach to the case. Finding no explicit law that bars Marcos’ LNMB burial, they have no option but to allow it. On the other hand, the protestors, particularly the torture survivors and those lost loved ones to the Martial Law atrocities, who have been denied justice until now, also deserve understanding and sympathy.
Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in September 1989. He was deposed by the 1986 People Power revolution. His remains are preserved at their family mausoleum in Ilocos Norte since 1993.
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Congratulations to Taytay Mayor Joric Gacula and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI)-Taytay president John Baredo for their successful joint Taytay Business Community Fellowship Night at the Manila East Club last week. The event was designed to further enhance the camaraderie among the town’s business players and prospective investors. (Johnny Dayang)