No SC action yet on contempt plea vs Marcoses

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2016 04:35 PM

MANILA - There is no action yet from the Supreme Court (SC) on the plea of several petitioners in the Marcos burial case to cite for indirect contempt the Marcos family and defense and military officials for the November 18 burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB), as well as the plea for the exhumation of the remains.

In a news conference, SC Public Information Office (PIO) chief, Atty. Theodore Te, said the high court magistrates, in today's en banc session, deliberated on the pleas of former Bayan Muna Representative Saturnino Ocampo and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, but decided to continue the deliberations next Tuesday.

An ABS-CBN News source said Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, the ponente of the November 8 decision dismissing consolidated petitions against the interment of Marcos' remains at the LNMB, is on wellness leave, which is why a resetting of the deliberations was necessary.

Ocampo urged the high court to cite in indirect contempt the Marcos family, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and ranking military officials for the "hasty, shady and tricky burial" of Marcos despite the fact that the decision has not yet reached finality.

Lagman, meantime, sought the exhumation of Marcos' remains on the same grounds.

In dismissing the consolidated petitions with a vote of 9-5, the high court said President Rodrigo Duterte violated no law in allowing Marcos' remains to be interred at the LNMB, stressing that Marcos was a former president, commander-in-chief, retired soldier, war veteran, former defense secretary, legislator, and recipient of the Medal of Valor, the highest honor bestowed by the Philippine military.

The high court further ruled that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the president since Marcos did not possess any disqualification under military regulations to be buried in the military shrine.

The SC stressed that the LNMB is under the supervision of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), an office under the defense department, which, in turn, is a department directly under the Office of the President.