By  Virgin Lopez
Source: GMA News

Martial Law victims turned to the Supreme Court on Monday to stop the government’s plan to bury the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

In a petition, the victims, led by former Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Satur Ocampo, Neri Colmenares, and Bonifacio Ilagan, accused the government of grave abuse of discretion for allowing the burial.

“This will not achieve the purpose of closure espoused or accepted by others. While Marcos rests in peace in LNMB, his victims who continue to cry out for justice, can never rest in peace,” the petitioners said.

Named respondents in the petition were Rear Admiral Ernesto Enriquez, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and the heirs of the late president represented by his spouse, Ilocos Norte Rep.  Imelda Marcos.

The petitioners said the planned burial approved by President Rodrigo Duterte violates Republic Act 289, which only allows the burial of a president or soldier worthy of public inspiration and emulation.

They also said the burial is contrary to public policy under the law (Republic Act 10638) that recognizes the massive human rights violations under the Marcos regime and is against the 1993 deal between the Philippine government and the Marcos family that the former leader’s remains should be buried in his home province of Ilocos Norte.

“To abandon the agreement, reboot the entire process, exhume his remains and allow his burial at LNMB is to relive the terror and horrors of his victims who have, until now, not been given justice,” the petitioners said.

“While his victims will be forgotten, Marcos will be remembered as a president given a hero’s burial in violation of the law and even their contractual commitment with the Philippine government,” they added.

The petitioners also cited AFP Regulation G 161-373, which bars ”those who have been dishonorably discharged from service, or personnel convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude” from being buried at the hero’s cemetery.

“The crimes of Marcos against the Filipino people and even against humanity involved moral turpitude,” the petition stated.

“Hence, public policy dictates that he is not entitled to any hero’s burial notwithstanding the fact of his presidency, which he overly abused, and his military record, which remains dubious up to the present.”

Duterte has been unwavering in his stand to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on the basis of Marcos being a former president and a soldier who took part in the resistance movement against the Japanese during World War II.

Human rights victims and opponents of the Marcos family denounced the President’s decision, braving the rain and mud on Sunday at a protest rally in Luneta to call on Duterte to change his mind.

Marcos was ousted from power in 1986 following a People Power revolt. He died three years later while on exile in Hawaii.