Legislator appeals SC’s ruling on Marcos burial

A CONGRESSMAN whose brother disappeared during the imposition of martial law on Monday formally filed a motion for reconsideration before the Supreme Court (SC) on behalf of desaparecidos and other human-rights violation victims during the Marcos administration, seeking the reversal of its decision allowing the burial of strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

In his 42-page motion, Liberal Party Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay insisted that Marcos’s burial at the LNMB on November 18 was a “gross distortion, a malevolent revision and a wanton derogation of Philippine history.”

Contrary to the Court’s ruling and President Duterte’s claim, Lagman said the former President’s burial at the LNMB would not lead to closure and national healing.

“The burial of a condemned dictator, confirmed plunderer and censured violator of human rights in the cemetery of heroes will not lead to closure because it sanctifies evil and installs a despot and oppressor in the venerable memorial for good men,” Lagman said.

He added that the speed and stealth by which the Marcos burial was carried out by the immediate members of the Marcos family shows their incorrigible addiction to deception, underhandedness and abuse, which the Supreme Court must never condone.

Lagman also argued that the Court erred in solely basing the burial of Marcos in the LMNB on Armed Forces Regulation G 161-375, because the said issuance by the Department of National Defense is not effective and enforceable for absence of registration with the Office of the National Administrative Registrar (Onar) of the University of the Philippine Law Center as required by the Administrative Code of 1987.

Under Armed Forces Regulation G 161-375, the chief of staff shall be responsible for the issuance of the interment directive for all active military personnel, authorized personnel, and retirees, veterans and reservists enumerated in the rule.

Lagman renewed his plea for the exhumation of “whatever was interred as Marcos mortal remains” at the LMNB despite the lack of finality of the Court’s ruling issued on November 8.

Lagman also prayed for the forensic examination on whatever is exhumed to determine what actually was buried at the LMNB.

Furthermore, Lagman argued that the when the totality of Marcos as a man is weighed in  the balance, whatever achievements he has done for the country are completely nullified by his sins against the nation, thus, making him ineligible to be buried in the LNMB.

Aside from Lagman, former Party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and several other human-rights violation victims during the Marcos administration also filed a motion for reconsideration before the SC.

Ocampo and his copetitioners argued that the hasty burial of Marcos at the LNMB has not rendered their motion for reconsideration moot and academic. “The act of the respondents that violated the Rules of Court and the authority of this Court cannot be rewarded by rendering the main issue moot,” Ocampo said.

He added that mootness is not a valid ground for the refusal of the Court to exercise its power of judicial review in cases where it involves serious violation of the Constitution, when the issues raised are of transcendental importance, or in instances where there is danger that the acts sought to be reviewed, or the violation complained of will be repeated like in the present case.

The petitioners insisted that the Court erred in giving Duterte the go-signal to inter Marcos at the LNMB as it violates Article II, Section 27 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that the “State shall take positive and effective measures against graft and corruption.”

“The interment of Marcos the proven thief and tyrant at the LNMB is not in furtherance of said constitutional provision and can in no way be deemed “a positive and effective measure against graft and corruption,” the petitioners said.




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