Ex-Bayan Muna solons appeal SC ruling on Marcos burial

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2016 02:23 PM

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos is interviewed, March 11, 1985, by Georges Biannic, Agence France Presse regional director for Asia and the Pacific, at Malacanang Palace in Manila. AFP Photo / Romeo Gacad

MANILA - The group of former Bayan Muna Representatives Saturnino Ocampo and Neri Colmenares filed today a motion for reconsideration (MR) of the Supreme Court (SC) ruling allowing the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB/Libingan).

Arguing that the controversial burial of Marcos' remains at the Libingan last November 18 does not render their petition moot and academic, Ocampo, et al. said that contrary to the ruling of the high court on November 8, 2016, President Duterte and respondent defense and military officials "violated the Constitution, the laws, jurisprudence and public policy" when it allowed Marcos' interment at said military shrine.

Petitioners argued that it violates Article II, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution, which states that the "State shall take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption."

"[A]llowing Marcos the Dictator who has already been judged by the Filipino people in 1986 and even the Supreme Court as a plunderer in many cases to be interred at the LNMB on the mere reason that he, like the others, is listed as qualified in AFP Regulation G 161-375, disregards and violates not only the public purpose standard under Proclamation 86 (S 1954) but is a direct contravention and a violation of said provision of the Constitution," the motion read.

They also argued that the move 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, stressing that the Libingan "was reserved as a burial ground for those individuals who sacrificed themselves through some heroic deeds to preserve the freedom of our country or contributed to its development."

Petitioners added that the Libingan is considered a "hallowed and sacred place in accordance with provisions of Presidential Decree No.
105."

"It is a place dedicated to honor these individuals as a way of showing the country's gratitude to their contribution, and to show its ―esteem and reverence‖ to them… That Ferdinand E. Marcos is a human rights violator, plunderer and a dictator is an undisputed and indubitable fact," the motion read.

Arguing that the AFP Regulations invoked by the executive branch in allowing Marcos' interment at the Libingan do not have the force and effect of law, petitioners stressed that these regulations directly contravene or are inconsistent with the Constitution and "cannot be a valid source of any right, obligation or power."

Petitioners said their status, along with those of many others, as human rights victims during Martial Law under the Marcos regime is recognized by the state with the passage of RA No. 10368, An Act Providing For Reparation And Recognition Of Victims Of Human Rights Violations During The Marcos Regime. They added that this reparation is not limited to monetary compensation.

"[T]he burial of Marcos the proven thief and tyrant at the LNMB distorts the historical bases upon which these rights were granted them, and an affront to their honor and dignity restored to them by law. To this extent, the petitioners will suffer direct injury, which injury is irreparable in nature since it cannot be measured in monetary terms," the motion read.

Petitioners also assailed Marcos' burial at the Libingan last November 8, for having been executed despite their right to file an MR, and urged the high court to reverse its assailed decision so that it may "redeem itself and prove that it is on the side of law, reason, justice, history, common sense, decency and of the people."