THE Supreme Court yesterday extended anew the status quo ante order it issued last month stopping the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
At a press briefing, SC spokesman Theodore Te said the decision to extend the SQA up to November 8 was reached during yesterday’s regular en banc session of the magistrates.
Supporters of the Marcoses held a vigil outside the SC along Padre Faura in Manila in anticipation of a ruling since the SQA was supposed to lapse yesterday.
The first SQA was issued last Aug. 23 effective for 20 days, or until Sept. 12. At the conclusion of the oral arguments last Sept. 7, the High Court extended the SQA to Oct. 18.
The issue has been submitted for decision after the Court heard the Marcos camp and the petitioners, who were mostly victims of human rights abuses during the Martial Law years, in oral arguments last month.
The six petitions were filed by groups of martial law victims led by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and former Commission on Human Rights chair Etta Rosales; a group led by former senator Heherson Alvarez; a group of University of the Philippines students; and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao human rights chair Algamar Latiph.
Petitioners argued that the planned burial of the late dictator is “illegal and contrary to law, public policy, morals and justice.”
They alleged that allowing the burial of the former leader would violate Republic Act No. 289 and R.A. 10368 (Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act).
They also argued that the burial would also violate the constitutional provision on state policies.
Named respondents are officials of the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took the decision of the magistrates to extend the SQA positively.
“Kahit papano umaasa kami na sana yung desisyon ay ngayong araw na. Ngunit sa aking pananaw habang tumatagal ang pag-aaral ng ating mga justice tungkol dito mas magiging maliwanag sa kanila na sa batas ay maliwanag na may karapatan ang aking ama na ilibing sa libingan ng mga bayani,” Marcos told reporters.
He noted that the Marcoses have already waited for 23 years so they would not mind waiting for several days more.
“Kaya pabayaan natin ang ating mga justices na pag-isipan, pag-aralan, pag-debatehan ang mga isyu tungkol dito at ako ay nakakatiyak na ang puno’t dulo nito ay sila ay sasang-ayon na dapat ilibing ang aking ama sa Libingan ng mga Bayani,” he added.