CHR to still 'seek justice' for rights victims despite SC ruling


Posted at Nov 08 2016 09:33 PM

MANILA – Despite the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling allowing the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos' burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) pledged to continue to seek recompense for the victims of human rights violations during Martial Law.

“The Commission affirms that the right to an effective remedy of human rights victims… must continue to be fulfilled even with this decision,” said the CHR in a statement on Tuesday.

While it also respects the SC’s decision, the CHR said, victims of human rights violations during Martial Law are still entitled to “reparation and recognition." 

The SC’s decision to favor executive discretion also “does not and cannot erase the uncontroverted fact of impunity for human rights violations committed during Martial Law that continues to demand justice.”

The CHR earlier said it believes the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani is unlawful, as it "contravenes the human rights obligation enshrined both in the Philippine Constitution as well as in international law."

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, daughter of the former president, on Tuesday called on those protesting the SC decision to "let go" of their resentment.

"Magpatawad na tayo, magkaisa na tayo, mag move on na ang Pilipinas (Let us forgive, let us be united, let the Philippines move on)," she said, and revealed that her family is merely seeking a “soldier’s burial” and not a state funeral for her father at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Her brother, former Senator Bongbong Marcos, said in a separate interview that their family will not issue an apology for acts committed during Martial Law, as “it is no longer the issue.”

He also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for deciding to move Marcos’ remains to the Heroes’ Cemetery.

The SC’s decision was a “magnanimous act,” he said.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, meanwhile, called on all parties to respect the SC’s ruling, and refrain from inciting political upheaval.

“The rule of law has triumphed over partisan emotions…we must focus instead on addressing vital issues we now face [such as] fighting crime, illegal drugs and corruption; sustaining economic growth; and ending armed rebellion,” Alvarez said in a statement.

Some lawmakers were among those calling for the SC to put a stop to the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. They, along with other petitioners, will be asking the SC to reconsider its decision.

Liberal Party acting president Senator Francis Pangilinan also described November 8 as a “horrible day for democracy." 

The SC has made the country a “laughingstock of the world” by honoring a “reviled dictator” by burying him in a cemetery for national heroes, Pangilinan said.