MANILA, Philippines – On Thursday, November 11, Former Bayan Partylist Representative Saturnino Ocampo and several others led martial law human rights victims in asking the Supreme Court to hold in abeyance the interment of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City.
The 7-page motion given by Ocampo – through lawyer Edre Olalia of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) – said it was necessary for a status quo ante order to be in place so as not to render moot the motion for reconsideration of the November 8 decision of the court, which they intend to file.
The SC, in its November 8 decision, said it was within the President’s prerogative to order Marco’s interment at the LNMB under Article VII of the constitution. (READ: SC ruling a ‘victory’ even for Martial Law victims – Panelo)
The SC added Marcos had the qualifications to be interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Namely, he was a “former president and commander-in-chief, a legislator, a secretary of national defense, a military personnel, a veteran, and a Medal of Valor awardee.” The SC also ruled there is no law prohibiting Marcos’ burial at LNMB.
The NUPL urged the need for a status quo ante order’s issuance, as there are reports that preparations for the interment are already being undertaken by the government and the Marcos family, even if the decision is not yet final or executory. (READ: Petitioners to SC: Advise Marcoses to put on hold preps for burial)
The NUPL is seeking clarification from the Court, such that the interment cannot be allowed pending the finality of the decision. Petitioners are also asking the SC to clarify that the respondents cannot allow the interment of Marcos at the LNMB pending the final decision.
“The hasty interment of Marcos Sr. at the LNMB will render moot the Motion for Reconsideration yet to be filed by Petitioners after receipt of the official copy of this Honorable Court’s decision. Petitioners are asking respondents to respect their right to due process of petitioners as well as that of other human rights violations victims who will be seeking the reversal of the Honorable Court’s decision,” the motion said.
The NUPL also argued the hasty interment of Marcos will injure petitioners’ rights. The interment will send the message that the late dictator was a hero. The NUPL explained, “Sending this message, which, once made cannot be taken back, is injurious to the victims of human rights violations during martial law as it honors their tormentor and puts into question their claims as such victims of human rights violations committed by Marcos Sr. and his henchmen during those dark and bloody days.”
The petitioners also said, “It is also injurious to the Filipino people who suffered from poverty through those years as a result of the plunder of public funds by Marcos Sr.”
As Marcos’ remains have been interred for two decades in a crypt in Ilocos Norte, the petitioners added the Marcos family will not suffer grave and irreparable injury if the Court issues an SQA pending the finality of its decision.
“On the contrary, his hasty interment would only complicate the situation, especially if the decision were reversed on reconsideration, as this would entail the exhumation of his remains and its re-interment in Ilocos.” – Rappler.com