MANILA - Burying the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) would amount to a "reversal" of the Constitution's stand against authoritarian rule, human rights victims who filed a third petition to stop the move said Friday.
The interment planned for next month, which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, will serve as a denial of the many abuses under Marcos' iron-fisted leadership, they said in a pleading to the Supreme Court.
"Contrary to what respondents would have the public believe, the burial of Mr. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is not an act bereft of any historical or constitutional significance," the petition read.
"It is not a mere burial. It is, on the contrary, a complete reversal of the very policy that forms part of the core of the Constitution -- that Marcos was a dictator guilty of numerous abuses," it added.
The Constitution was borne out of a military-backed popular uprising in 1986 that restored democracy in the country and forced Marcos into exile in Hawaii where he died three years later.
His remains were flown back to the country in 1993 and have since been kept at one of his family's ancestral houses in their bailiwick of Ilocos Norte.
The human rights victims told the Supreme Court that moving Marcos' remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani would violate his family's agreement with former President Fidel Ramos in 1993 that his body should be buried in Ilocos Norte.
They added that a hero's burial would also violate the Philippines' commitments under international human rights agreements.
The petitioners include former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales, journalist o-Ann Maglipon, Hilda Narciso, Aida Santos-Maranan, Zenaida Mique, Fe Mangahas, Ma. Cristina Bawagan, Mila Aguilar, Minerva Gonzales, Ma. Cristina Rodriguez, Francisco Rodrigo, Jr., Louie Crismo, Liwayway Arce, and Abdulmari De Leon Imao, Jr.
The high tribunal will hear oral arguments on petition to stop the burial on August 24. Similar petitions were filed by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.
Duterte said that as a former president and soldier, Marcos was entitled to burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.