THE Supreme Court ruled on the legal issue on the burial of the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos last Tuesday at the Libingan ng mga Bayani at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
“There is no clear constitutional or legal basis to hold that there was grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction which would justify the Court to interpose its authority to check and override an act entrusted to another branch,” SC spokesman Theodore O. Te quoted the text of the court’s decision. President Duterte acted within the bounds of law and jurisprudence when he ordered that President Marcos’ remains be buried at the Libingan, the court ruled.
Opposition to President Marcos’ burial at the Libingan had been made by human rights advocates, the court noted. But it declared that it must uphold what is legal and just – and that is not to deny him his rightful place in the Libingan.
The court acknowledged that there is indeed a continuing and unrelenting opposition to the burial. Former President Benigno S. Aquino III himself joined a protest concert last Sunday, along with former Secretary Mar Roxas. But the court declared “There a certain things that are better left to history – not this court – to adjudge. The court could only do so much in accordance with the clearly established rules and principles. Beyond that, it is ultimately for the people themselves, as the sovereign, to decide – a task that may require the better perspective that the passage of time provides. In the meantime, the country must move on and let the issue rest.”
Now that the court has ruled, we may expect the burial soon of former President Marcos’ remains in the special plot at the Libingan reserved for former presidents of the country. There are now three former presidents buried there – President Elpidio Quirino, President Carlos P. Garcia, and President Diosdado Macapagal. The others’ families have chosen to bury them elsewhere, many in their family plots in their hometowns.
The advocates of a Libingan burial for President Marcos have won their legal battle. It is good that the Marcos family has planned for a simple soldier’s funeral. We hope it will not be an occasion for more protest demonstrations. Let us all, as the Supreme Court suggested, allow the passage of time, which should give us a better perspective from which to judge.