Lagman to SC: Have Marcos remains exhumed from Heroes’ Cemetery

Patty Pasion
Lagman to SC: Have Marcos remains exhumed from Heroes’ Cemetery
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, one of the petitioners against a hero's burial for Ferdinand Marcos, also wants to subject the remains to a forensic examination

MANILA, Philippines – Albay Representative Edcel Lagman on Monday, November 21, filed an urgent motion with the Supreme Court (SC) to order the digging up of former President Ferdinand Marcos’ remains from the Heroes’ Cemetery.

The congressman, who was one of the petitioners that tried to stop the dictator’s burial, said that “the hasty and surreptitious interment” on Friday was “premature, void and irregular.”

He pointed out that the SC ruling on November 8 allowing the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was still not final and executory, pending the motions for reconsideration of the petitioners. 

Lagman specified in his motion that petitioners submitted a manifestation to the SC on November 11 to inform the magistrates that the respondents would be submitting their motions for reconsideration once they had received a copy of the November 8 ruling.

They also requested the High Court to issue another hold order after the status quo ante order on the burial was lifted, following the SC ruling.

The SC had ruled that President Rodrigo Duterte did not commit grave abuse of discretion when he ordered the burial of Marcos at the LNMB. Ten days later, the strongman’s remains were interred at the national shrine, the information and preparations kept secret from the public.

Earlier on Monday, leaders of leftist groups – former Bayan Muna representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares, together with the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto – filed with the SC a petition for contempt against the Marcos familyArmed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Department of National Defense for the surprise burial.

Examine the remains

Aside from exhuming the remains, Lagman also sought the following:

  • Subject the remains, upon exhumation, to a forensic examination to determine if they were really the “mortal remains” of Marcos
  • “Making of record” the petitioners’ intent to cite in contempt the Marcos family and the government officials “who conspired and facilitated the premature and clandestine Marcos burial”

Lagman is the second petitioner to run to the SC after the controversial ceremony held last Friday that sparked protests around Metro Manila and several parts of the country.

Some 500 anti-Marcos protesters joined a rally at the People Power Monument along EDSA on the evening of November 18, hours after the unforeseen interment.

Groups opposing the burial are also set to hold two grand rallies to further send their message of disdain, particularly to the President.

Groups led by the Coalition Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (Carmma) will have a grand rally on Friday, November 25, at 4 pm, in time for Duterte’s arrival from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Peru.

Meanwhile, the Coalition Against Marcos Burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Camb-LNMB) will “occupy” the national shrine on November 30, Bonifacio Day. – 

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.