MANILA - Various groups staged a picket in front of the Supreme Court (SC) on Padre Faura on Friday, ahead of the expected vote next week by SC justices on consolidated petitions that oppose the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The Duyan ng Magiting Coalition, Akbayan Youth, Claimants 1081, Martial Law Chronicles Projects, QC United, SCAPS, Ateneo De Manila University Sanggunian, Pandayan-PASCRES, College of St. Benilde Center for Social Action, and Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, led some one hundred protesters to call for the thumbing down of the Duterte administration's move.
"Next week, the Supreme Court justices are deciding on whether to allow the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Despite several past SC decisions and laws that have repeatedly affirmed that Ferdinand Marcos was a dictator, a thief and a violator of human rights, historical revisionism persists.
"If the SC justices vote 'yes,' then the highest court in the land will bury truth and justice with the dictator," the groups said in a joint statement.
The protesters lighted candles to amplify their protest, and called on SC magistrates to grant the petitions. Petitioners are led by former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo.
Petitioners argued that Marcos' burial at the Libingan violates Republic Act (RA) No. 289, "An Act Providing for the Construction of a National Pantheon for Presidents of the Philippines, National Heroes and Patriots of the Country," tantamount to condonation of "abuses committed by the Marcos regime" and human rights violations during Martial Law.
They also said, among other reasons, that it would violate a written agreement between the Philippine government, through former President Fidel Ramos, and the Marcos family on the interment of Marcos' remains in Ilocos Norte.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), meantime, pointed out the following arguments in support of government's move to allow Marcos' burial at the Libingan:
- Marcos was, in life, a President, Commander-in-Chief, retired military veteran and Medal of Valor awardee, and thus, may be interred at the Libingan pursuant to [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Regulations G 161-375;
- Marcos, prior to his death, possessed none of the disqualifications from being interred at the Libingan, as stated in AFP Regulations G 161-375;
- the recognition and reparation of human rights violations victims under Republic Act No. 10368 (An Act Providing for Preparation and Recognition of Victims of Human Rights Violations During the Marcos Regime) would not be impaired by the interment of former President Marcos at the Libingan;
- the interment of Marcos' remains at the Libingan is not contrary to public policy;
- the interment of Marcos' remains at the Libingan does not contravene the principles and policies enshrined in the 1987 Constitution;
- the interment of Marcos' remains at the Libingan does not violate the Philippines' obligations under International Law and norms; and
- the President is not bound by the alleged 1993 Agreement between former President Fidel V. Ramos and the Marcos family to have the remains of former President Marcos interred at Batac, Ilocos Norte.