A former lawmaker on Tuesday reminded President Rodrigo Duterte that the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is not a matter of personal choice, but of national interest.
"I can't second guess the real reason but [Duterte] is openly saying he admires Marcos, he's a friend of Bongbong. But this is a matter of national interest and not just a matter of personal choice," Satur Ocampo, President of the Makabayan Coalition, told [email protected]
Duterte, whose father, Vicente, was Cabinet Secretary for General Services during Marcos' first term as president, has given green light to the burial of the late strongman at the heroes' cemetery.
READ: Duterte unmoved by Marcos' fake war medals, records [embed link: https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/08/12/16/duterte-unmoved-by-marcos-fake-war-medals-records]
Ocampo said then-candidate Duterte has vowed to bury the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani to solve the divisiveness Martial Law and Marcos rule had brought the country.
"But everybody else said the effect will be contrary because there's widespread opposition, and insisting on burying him there will push issue to further divisiveness of people," he said.
In a memorandum dated August 7, the Department of National Defense, which is in charge of the cemetery, instructed the Philippine Army to plan and prepare Marcos's interment at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Ocampo and his group however filed a petition before the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking to overrule the administration's decision.
READ: SC urged to stop hero's burial for Marcos
He said, they were able to meet with Duterte at the Malacañang Monday regarding the peace negotiations and it was "very cordial."
"We sort of understand each other that we disagree on a number issues including the burial of Marcos. I think the matter has been sufficiently explained why particularly the group who filed the case at the Supreme Court were victims of human rights violations," he said.
"We won the case in Hawaii. There was a very categorical ruling that Marcos, during Martial Law, violated human rights. Subsequently, Congress passed the law that declares a national policy that the state recognizes heroism and sufferings of the victims of Martial Law," he added.
WATCH: Army: Hindi bayani lahat ng nakahimlay sa Libingan ng mga Bayani
He added, the People Power Revolution that ousted the Marcoses from power is the "best and highest form of rejection and judgment on Marcoses."
Though Ocampo is optimistic the Supreme Court will prohibit a hero's burial for Marcos, he said they will take it to the streets if the high court rules unfavorably.
"We'll have to accept the decision but we'll keep on insisting that the manner of burial which is giving honors as a hero or an honorable president is unacceptable," he said.
He revealed, there will be a caravan on Wednesday from the Quezon Memorial Circle to the Libingan ng mga Bayani.