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House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez sees nothing illegal in last Friday’s internment of President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libi-ngan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City but backed protesters in expressing their sentiments over the secrecy shrouded burial.
However, opposition Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman said a serious violation of the law may have been committed since both the Supreme Court and the Armed Forces of the Philippines do not have a clear guarantee that what was interred at the LNMB was the real remains of Marcos and not a mere wax figure as many have suspected.
Lagman called for the exhumation of the Marcos remains because its burial lacked a final and executory ruling from the High Court. He pointed out that a motion for reconsideration of the 9-5 SC ruling on the LNMB burial is still pending.
Aside from seeking a court order to dig up the remains, Lagman has also vowed to ask the High Tribunal to declare those behind the secret interment in direct contempt of court.
In a press statement, Alvarez called on all sectors to “respect” the decision of the Supreme Court on the burial. “We are a government of laws and not of men. This cardinal principle of a democratic system is the basis of the Supreme Court ruling allowing the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” said Alvarez.
The House leader pointed out that Malacañang is “well aware that some sectors are vehemently” objecting to a hero’s burial for Marcos who is being blamed for widespread murders and human rights violations committed against dissenters during his 20 years in power.
“They can express their grievances as part of freedom of speech and of expression and they can freely exercise their right to peacefully assemble to articulate their sentiments. This is part and parcel of our democratic tradition and the government will uphold these fundamental freedoms and right enshrined in our Constitution,” he said.
Among those who joined the chorus of condemnation against the Marcos burial were Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro of ACT Teachers party-list; Emmy de Jesus (Gabriela party-list); Tom Villarin (Akbayan); Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna), and Sarah Elago (Kabataan party-list). (Ben R. Rosario)