MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 29, directed Malacañang, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to reply, within 10 days, to the motion to cite them in contempt for the surreptitious and secret burial of the former president at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Former Bayan Muna representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares, together with the Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda), had filed a motion last November 21, accusing the Marcoses, AFP, and Department of National Defense (DND) of “improper conduct” for carrying out the “hasty and shady burial.”
The petitioners previously filed on November 11 an urgent motion “to hold in abeyance” the burial, pending the filing of motions for reconsideration. The SC on November 8 had voted 9-5 to allow a hero’s burial for Marcos, which had been ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
SC spokesman Theodore Te said the directive was issued after Tuesday’s en banc session. The High Court likewise instructed them to respond to the motions for reconsideration filed by the petitioners.
Among the named respondents were: Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
They were given 10 days from notice of the resolution to file their respective comments.
Former Bayan Muna representative Ocampo, through the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman filed separate motions for reconsideration. They sought a reversal of the November 8 decision of the High Court allowing Marcos’ burial at the Libingan.
Marcos’ burial at the Libingan 10 days after the SC decision, they argued, does not render their petition moot and academic.
Lagman reiterated his plea for the exhumation of “whatever was interred as Marcos mortal remains,” as the Court’s November 8 ruling was not final. He asked that a forensic examination be conducted on what is exhumed to determine what was actually buried at the Libingan.
He attacked the manner with which Marcos’ burial was carried out, saying that it indicated the Marcos family’s incorrigible addiction to deception, underhandedness, and abuse. He refuted claims that Marcos’ burial at the Heroes’ Cemetery would lead to closure and national healing.
“The burial of a condemned dictator, confirmed plunderer, and censured violator of human rights in the Cemetery of Heroes will not lead to closure because it sanctifies evil and installs a despot and oppressor in the venerable memorial for good men,” Lagman said in his motion for reconsideration.
Ocampo’s petition argued that the burial of Marcos has not rendered their motion for reconsideration moot and academic.
The petitioners insisted that the Supreme Court committed a mistake when it gave Duterte the go-signal to bury Marcos at the Libingan, citing Article II, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution which states: the “State shall take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.”
“The 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 petitioners said. – Rappler.com
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