MANILA- The De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) said the Supreme Court's (SC) decision allowing the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani, reflects the "weakness" of the country's democracy to exact accountability from abusive leaders.
In a statement on Thursday, DLSP said strengthening government institutions has not been carefully observed as shown in the SC decision, which they called an "ominous development."
Voting 9-5, with one inhibition, the SC on Tuesday allowed the burial of Marcos at the hero's cemetery, 27 years after his death.
"The SC decision, an ominous development, reflects the weakness of our democracy to exact accountability from leaders who abused and are abusing their power," DLSP said in a statement on their Facebook page signed by its president, Br. Jose Mari L. Jimenez, FSC.
According to DLSP, the high court has "sadly chosen to err on the side of technicality rather than that of history."
"Marcos is not a hero. He was an oppressive ruler and a dictator. He remains answerable for many counts of atrocities and human rights violations as well as ill-gotten wealth," it said.
DLSP said the public must "never forget" the martial law period, deemed as the darkest period in Philippine history.
On Tuesday, the De La Salle University Student Government urged students to wear black on Wednesday to protest the burial of the late strongman.
"There can be no moving on without an accounting of the past, no forgiveness without remorse and apology. There can be no justice without accountability. There can be no justice with impunity," it said.
DLSP added that the SC decision is a challenge to Lasallian schools to help clarify to students "the lessons borne out of a scrupulous study of history, citizenship, accountability, and good governance."
"We therefore call on all our Lasallian teachers and partners to strengthen all their educational and community engagement efforts and programs towards a deepening of our people's appreciation for democracy and human rights," the statement read.
DLSP also called on the public to "oppose every effort to distort our nation’s story."
"We shall endeavor to re-tell our story so that we remain true to the values we have fought for and for which many have given up their lives. The oppressiveness of Marcos’ Martial Law must not be forgotten," it said.