LATE President Ferdinand Marcos can be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) in Taguig, the Philippine Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, November 8.
With a vote of 9-5-1, the court dismissed the petitions that sought to stop the former president’s interment.
The petitioners, including the martial law victims, argued in summary that the burial is allegedly against the law, citing R.A. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act as a basis.
The court, however, said Marcos was not convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude and the cases against him were all civil in nature.
The court also lifted its status quo ante order (SQAO) that temporarily halted the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from the burial preparations for the late dictator.
With permission from President Rodrigo Duterte, Marcos’s burial was supposedly set in September, but the court initially issued an SQAO at the request of petitioners who sought to stop the burial. The SQA, which originally should have expired on September 12, was extended twice until November 8.
The court also said there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Duterte in ordering the burial of Marcos, and that the president has the power to decide on how to use land within the public domain, including the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Those who voted to dismiss the petitions include Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Lucas Bersamin, Arturo Brion, Leonardo-De Castro, Mariano Del Castillo, Jose Mendoza, Diosdado Peralta, Jose Perez, and Presbitero Velasco Jr.
On the other hand, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A. Sereno and Associate Justices Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Antonio Carpio, Marvic Victor Leonen, Francis Jardeleza dissented.
Justice Bienvenido Reyes abstained from voting.
In a statement, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. thanked the Supreme Court for its decision.
“We also would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte as his unwavering commitment to this issue sustained us these past several months. Our family will forever be thankful for his kind gesture,” he said.
The younger Marcos said he hopes that his father’s burial will “lead the nation towards healing as we endeavor to move the country forward to give every Filipino a better life.”
On the other hand, several rallies were conducted in different parts of the country, including Quezon City, Makati, Baguio, Los Baños, Cebu, and Davao, to protest against the court’s decision regarding the internment.
Former President Marcos died of kidney, heart and lung ailments in 1989 while in exile in Hawaii after being ousted during the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
His remains were brought back to the Philippines in 1993 and have stayed remained in a glass coffin in Ilocos Norte.