THE Supreme Court will tackle today several petitions of martial law victims opposing President Duterte’s order allowing former president Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The petitions are on the agenda of the SC during its regular session as the status quo ante order (SQA) it issued last month stopping the Marcos burial lapses today.
The high court will issue the ruling after hearing the sides of petitioners and the government in oral arguments last month.
On the eve of the expected release of the SC ruling, Marcos’ eldest daughter and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos joined supporters gathered for a prayer vigil outside the SC compound in Padre Faura Street, Manila.
The vigil concluded the “Kailian March” of Marcos loyalists who supposedly walked their way to Manila from Ilocos Norte last Friday. They passed through Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan and gathered supporters along the way.
In an interview, the governor appealed for national unity by allowing his father to be buried at the Libingan.
“I think there’s nothing wrong in expressing our firm stand that Apo Marcos should now be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani along with soldiers, late former president and all those awarded with medals,” she told reporters in Filipino.
She asked Filipinos to just support the decision of President Duterte.
“To all those opposing (Marcos burial), let’s give this one to the President and to us Ilocanos as one way to forge national unity... We can expect that all wounds will heal once my father is buried in the Libingan,” she appealed.
The high tribunal initially issued the SQA last Aug.23, effective for 20 days or until Sept. 12.
But at the conclusion of oral arguments last Sept. 7, the SC extended the order directed at Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces chief-of-staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya until Oct.18 to allow the resolution of the case on merits.
The six earlier 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.
In a nutshell, 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.