Supreme Court allows “heroes” burial for Ferdinand Marcos

The Supreme Court of the Philippines approved the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

With 9-5 vote, former president Marcos can now be buried at the Libingan nga mga Bayani. This embarked one of the biggest decision of the SC as the justices cleared all legal obstacles for the burial of Marcos at the heart of the country, not in the north. The court rejected the petitioners, mostly were victims of human rights during the Marcos totalitarian regime, desire to stop the burial.

How the justices voted?

Associate Justices Arturo Brion, Presbitero Velasco Jr, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Teresita de Castro, Jose Mendoza, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe voted in favor of giving Marcos a hero’s burial.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, together with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa dissented.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes inhibited from the case citing his connection with president Rodrigo Duterte and the Aquinos.

In a press briefing, SC Spokesperson Theodore Te announced some of the reasons cited by the justices for allowing the burial of Marcos:

There was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of President Duterte in ordering the burial of Marcos; there is no law that prohibits the burial of the former president Marcos
The President has the power to decide on the use of land within the public domain; there is no law that excludes the Libingan ng mga Bayani
Marcos was former commander-in-chief, former soldier and former secretary of national defense
Some justices disagreed with the position articulated by others that the former president was dishonorably discharged; this applies only to the military
On the issue of moral turpitude: Marcos has not been convicted by any final judgment and the cases cited were all civil in nature.

Bong Bong Marcos Jr., the son of the late president, has expressed his gratitude to president Duterte and the Supreme Court just after finding the decision goes to their favor.

“We are deeply grateful to the Supreme Court for its decision to allow the burial of my father, former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Once again, the Supreme Court has taken a magnanimous act to uphold the rule of law,” the former senator said in a statement on Tuesday.

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