Kin of 'desaparecidos' also ask SC to stop Marcos burial

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2016 03:48 PM

MANILA – Relatives of ''desaparecidos'' or enforced disappearance victims have also asked the Supreme Court to stop ''now and forever'' the planned burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City scheduled on September 18. 

A similar petition was filed Monday by other human rights victims and other citizens. 

Rep. Edcel Lagman, honorary chair of Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), said the relatives of the desaparecidos filed a Petition for Prohibition on the Marcos burial yesterday. 

''The desaparecidos and other human rights violations victims (HRVVs) are the real heroes and martyrs, while the strongman Marcos is the tyrant and oppressor who does not deserve a hero's burial in the LNMB,'' Lagman said in a statement.

The desaparecidos' relatives and other human rights victims sought help from the high court as President Rodrigo Duterte stood firm on his decision to allow the burial.

Duterte and his spokespersons said Marcos' burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani is in accordance with existing laws and rules. The president also insists that allowing the burial will allow the nation to move on.

However, the petitioners said closure among human rights victims won't be achieved through the burial, but will instead ''perpetuate a patent injustice [and] escalate national discord and disunity."

''The wounds inflicted during the dark days of martial law bleed anew,'' they added.

The petitioners said Marcos is unfit for a hero's burial due to the ''grievous sins'' he committed against the Filipino people.

''The fact that Marcos was a soldier and former President is utterly diminished and completely nullified by his cardinal offenses against the Filipino nation,'' they said.

''The law or guidelines for burial in the LNMB must be construed to entitle only former presidents whose lives are inspiration and worthy of emulation by generations of Filipinos as provided by R.A. No. 289 (An Act for the Construction of Pantheon for Presidents)."

They also noted that Republic Act. No. 10368 or the "Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013" amended and modified the Armed Forces of the Philippines burial guidelines in the LNMB by ''implicitly disqualifying Marcos from being interred in the heroes' cemetery due to the wanton brutalities committed under martial law against HRVVs."

They also raised the 1993 agreement with the Ramos government where the Marcos family supposedly waived a burial in the LNMB for Marcos.

The respondents to the petition are Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya, AFP Deputy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Ernesto Enriquez, and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina (Ret.).