MANILA - The opposition to former President Ferdinand Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani has reached the Supreme Court (SC).
Human rights victims during Martial Law and people's organizations filed a petition with the high court on Monday, urging the setting aside of Malacañang's order for Marcos' burial at the cemetery dedicated for war heroes, soldiers, former Presidents of the Philippines, and National Artists.
Petitioners are former Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Bonifacio Ilagan, Javier Colmenares, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chairperson Carolina Araullo, Samahan ng Ex-Detainess Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, Carmencita Florentino, Rodolfo Del Rosario, Felix Dalisay, and Danilo Dela Fuente.
Most of the petitioners are plaintiffs in a class suit filed in the 1990's in a Hawaii Court, against Marcos' estate that seeks to recover compensation for the "human rights violations perpetraed during the Marcos dictatorship."
The 30-page petition described the order as "void" for being "patently illegal and was made with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction."
Petitioners said allowing Marcos' burial in Libingan ng mga Bayani would be a mockery of Philippine democracy.
"Apart from the human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship, the fact remains undisputed that Marcos and his family, during his term, acquired billions worth of ill-gotten wealth, some of which are still subjects of pending litigations while much remain hidden.
"Moreover, the foreign debt his administration incurred ballooned and actually rendered future generations of Filipinos, even those still unborn, heavily indebted by the millions," the petition read.
Petitioners also raised the issue on a study conducted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) which states that Marcos' claims of being a bemedalled World War II hero "failed to pass the test of historical verification."
Petitioners also pointed out that an agreement between the Philippine government and the Marcos family in 1993 provided the following conditions for the return of Marcos' remains to the Philippines:
a) That the body of Pres. Marcos will be immediately transported to Ilocos Norte upon arrival without fanfare;
b) That the body of Pres. Marcos be buried in Ilocos Norte; and
c) The ceremony for the burial was to be for military honors for the rank of major.
The Libingan ng mga Bayani was created by virtue of Republic Act 289, also known as “An Act Providing for the Construction of a National Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes and Patriots of the Country.”
Marcos died in Honolulu on September 28, 1989, at the age of 72, due to kidney, heart, and lung complications.
His impending burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.