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ON THIS PAGE, THE MARCOS BURIAL:

PHOTOS: GROUPS PROTEST AHEAD OF SC RULE ON MARCOS BURIAL
[RELATED: SC favors dictator Marcos’ burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani]

[COMMENTARY bY Soliman M. Santos Jr : Supreme Court on the Marcos Role, 1989]


NOVEMBER 8 -Both supporters and anti-Marcos groups gathered in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday as they await the decision of the magistrates on whether they will allow the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV
Various groups on Tuesday gathered at the Supreme Court vicinity in Manila as they await the magistrates’ ruling on the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Marcos loyalists started their protests last Monday and held an overnight rally in front of the SC. Marcos’s daughter Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos attended the gathering and lead lighting of candles for his father’s burial. These supporters marched from Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate, Manila to the gates of the SC. They sang Asin’s “Pagbabalik” as they urged justices to rule in their favor. READ MORE...RELATED, SC favors dictator Marcos’ burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani...RELATED(2), COMMENTARY bY Soliman M. Santos Jr : Supreme Court on the Marcos Role, 1989...

ALSO SC DECISION: Libingan burial for FM SC votes 9-5-1
[RELATED: IN QUOTES - Senators react to SC ruling on Marcos burial]


NOVEMEBR 8 -
Philippine Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te shows to the media a report he read during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. The Philippine Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos can be buried at the heroes' cemetery, a decision that opponents said rolled back the democratic triumph of the "people power" revolt that ousted Marcos three decades ago. AP Photo/Aaron Favila The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a former president, commander-in-chief, soldier and war veteran, and his ouster through people power did not take away his privilege to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled yesterday. Voting 9-5 in session with one abstention, the justices also ruled that President Duterte did not abuse his discretion in allowing Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig. The SC dismissed the petitions questioning the legality of Duterte’s order last August to allow Marcos’ interment at the Libingan. READ MORE...RELATED(2), IN QUOTES: Senators react to SC ruling on Marcos burial...

ALSO: Imee Marcos apologizes for ‘unexpected incidents’ during Martial Law
[RELATED: Duterte firm on Marcos burial: ‘The law is the law’]


NOVEMBER 12 -Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Saturday apologized for the "unexpected" incidents during Martial Law.
"Iyong tungkol sa apology, sabi ko nga nanghihingi na ako ng patawad sa lahat ng nasaktan sa mga hindi inaasahang mga pangyayari dahil kailanman hindi ninais na may masaktan," the governor said.  The governor clarified that their family does not deny that there were abuses during Martial Law. "Wala namang sinasabi na walang kasalanan. Eh talaga namang inaamin nating lahat," she said. The governor made the statement in reaction to the statement of former President Fidel Ramos that the Marcos family owes the country an apology for the abuses committed during Martial Law. "Address [the apology] to all the descendants of the victims, whether or not there is an investigation, to show sincere desire to discard, reject and eliminate already all the dictatorial tendencies and happenings during that period," Ramos said during an interview with GMA News' Sandra Aguinaldo. READ MORE...RELATED,
Duterte firm on Marcos burial: ‘The law is the law’...

ALSO:
SC allows Marcos burial at Libingan
[RELATED: SC clears Marcos burial at Libingan (TRIBUNAL: FM JUST HUMAN WHO ERRS)]


NOVEMBER 9 -VICTORIOUS VIGIL Ilocanos light candles spelling out “ilibing na” (bury now) in front of the provincial capitol of Ilocos Norte, birthplace and bailiwick of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. The Supreme Court voted 9-5 to allow the transfer of the remains of the former president to the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City from Batac town in Ilocos Norte. PHOTO BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO
Voting 9-5 with one abstention, the high court also lifted the status quo ante order issued on August 23 and extended twice, allowing the transfer of Marcos’ remains from Batac, Ilocos Norte to the military-run cemetery in Taguig City. The Manila Times earlier reported the Libingan burial would get at least eight votes. The decision was penned by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta. Those who concurred were Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe. READ MORE...RELATED, SC clears Marcos burial at Libingan (TRIBUNAL: FM JUST HUMAN WHO ERRS)

ALSO: Burying Marcos at Libingan does not make him a hero - Panelo [RELATED: Two senators join hundreds in UP protest vs. Marcos’ Libingan burial]
(Mar, Kiko, Risa, Leila join Luneta protest vs hero’s burial for Marcos)


NOVEMBER 10 -The Supreme Court ruling “should be considered a victory for both the sympathizers and critics of Marcos," said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. Philstar.com/File photo
The burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani does not make him a hero, President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal adviser said, amid fierce debates on whether the late dictator deserves the honor. In a statement, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the view of each Filipino on Marcos, not his burial place, would determine whether he is a hero or not. “It should be made clear, however, that the Supreme Court ruling does not make the former president a hero. What is clear from public sentiment is that he will remain a scoundrel to some and hero to others,” Panelo said in a statement. READ MORE...RELATED, Two senators join hundreds in UP protest vs. Marcos’ Libingan burial ...(Mar, Kiko, Risa, Leila join Luneta protest vs hero’s burial for Marcos photo)

ALSO: Associate Justice Bersamin on voting ‘Yes’ to Marcos’ burial [RELATED Commentary: 10 reasons why the SC voted to bury]


NOVEMBER 10 -SCPh Justice Lucas Bersamin.jpg FROM WIKIPEDIA “President Marcos—being… a two-term President of the Philippines, a Medal of Valor awardee, a veteran of World War II, a former Senator and Senate President, and a former Congressman, by any of which was qualified to have his remains be interred in the LNMB.” READ FULL REPORT BELOW...RELATED, 10 reasons why the SC voted to bury...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE BELOW
OR CLICK HERE TO READ ONLINE

IN PHOTOS: Groups protest ahead of SC ruling on Marcos burial


Both supporters and anti-Marcos groups gathered in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday as they await the decision of the magistrates on whether they will allow the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

MANILA, NOVEMBER 7, 2016 (PHILSTAR) November 8, 2016 - Various groups on Tuesday gathered at the Supreme Court vicinity in Manila as they await the magistrates’ ruling on the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Marcos loyalists started their protests last Monday and held an overnight rally in front of the SC. Marcos’s daughter Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos attended the gathering and lead lighting of candles for his father’s burial.

These supporters marched from Rajah Sulayman Park in Malate, Manila to the gates of the SC. They sang Asin’s “Pagbabalik” as they urged justices to rule in their favor.

READ MORE...

On the other hand, groups opposed to Marcos’s burial at the heroes' cemetery staged a prayer rally and concert at the Luneta last Sunday.

Former President Benigno Aquino III and Liberal Party presidential bet Mar Roxas graced the event.

The Manila Police District has separated the groups while Padre Faura Street has been closed to traffic.

As of 11 a.m., the MPD said the are an estimated 200 Marcos supporters there while anti-Marcos protesters number around 300.

For Marcos loyalists, the hero's burial will bring healing to the country. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV


upporters of the Marcos kin insists peace will prevail after the burial of the late president at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV


AYMEE MARCOS'S FACEBOOK POST: Imee Marcos shared ILibing na's photo. Yesterday at 6:48am · Image may contain: 9 people , people smiling , candles ILibing naLike Page Yesterday at 6:24am · Magsindi ng kandila ngayong alas 8 ng gabi, sa harapan ng ating mga bahay, at ipagdasal ang kaliwanagan ng isip at diwa ng ating mga Mahistrado ng Supreme Court na #IlibingNa ang Pagulong Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani 'pagkat ito'y nararapat. #PrayforPRO8 #NotoHate #YestoHealing Kindle a candle this evening at 8 in front of our house, ipagdasal the clarity of mind and spirit of our justice of the supreme court #ilibingna pagulong marcos in the heroe s'cemetery' since there it it . #Prayforpro8 #Notohate #yestohealing


The anti-Marcos protesters cry "Marcos is no hero."Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

Ilocanos also lit candles in front of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol at 8 p.m. on Monday to signify the eight votes needed to defeat petitions against the burial.


AYMEE'S FACEBOOK POST: Ilocanos lighting candles in front of the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol to show their support for a favorable decision of the Supreme Court. #NotoHate #YestoHealing #PrayforPRO8 #iLibingNa November 7, 2016

—Text by Rosette Adel; Photos by Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo IV

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RRELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

SC favors dictator Marcos’ burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani Published November 8, 2016 1:58pm Updated November 8, 2016 3:31pm By VIRGIL LOPEZ, GMA News

There is no more legal hurdle to the government's plan to allow the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

By a vote of 9-5, the 15-man SC dismissed the consolidated petitions seeking to stop the burial backed by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte, according to SC spokesman Theodore Te in a press conference.

Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Arturo Brion, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza, Teresita Leonardo De Castro, and Estela Perlas-Bernabe gave the greenlight to the burial.

READ MORE...


THE DISSENTERS - FROM left, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Caguioa. Justice Francis Jardeleza was the fifth dissenter. Four of the 5 dissenters (excluding Carpio) were appointed by former president Benigno Aquino III, the son of two democracy icons who staunchly fought the Marcos dictatorship.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno led the dissenters. She was joined by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Francis Jardeleza, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, a fraternity brother of the President at the San Beda College of Law, inhibited from the deliberations due to reported close relations with a party in the case.

Te said the Court found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Duterte in pushing for the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because this was done in the exercise of his mandate under Article VII, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution "to ensure the faithful execution of all laws."

There was also no law barring the transfer of Marcos' remains to the Libingan ng mga Bayani and that Duterte was not bound by the 1992 agreement entered into by the Marcos family and then President Fidel Ramos to have the remains interred in Marcos' hometown of Batac, Ilocos Norte.

"As the incumbent, President Duterte is free to amend, revoke, or rescind political agreements entered into by his predecessors and to determine policies which he considers, based on informed judgment and presumed wisdom, will be most effective in carrying out his mandate," Te said.

Public funds can be used for burial

The SC also found that under the Administrative Code, the President has the power to reserve any public land for public use and for specific public purposes.

"According to the majority, the disbursement of public funds to cover the expenses incidental to the burial is granted to compensate him for valuable public services rendered," Te said.

"In this regard, the majority also considered that the President's determination to have Marcos' remains interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani was inspired by his desire for national healing and reconciliation," he added.

The Court also shot down the petitioners' contention that the Libingan burial was motivated by Duterte's debt of gratitude to the Marcoses, who supported the former Davao City mayor in the May presidential election.

"As the purpose is not self-evident, petitioners have the burden of proof to establish the factual basis of their claim. They failed. Even so, this Court cannot take cognizance of factual issues since we are not a trier of facts," stated the decision penned by Justice Peralta.

Not pure evil

Marcos may have been accused with massive human rights violations and corruption, but the SC said "it cannot deny him the right to be acknowledged based on the other positions he held or the awards he received."

"We agree with the proposition that Marcos should be viewed and judged in his totality as a person. While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us," the decision read.

The SC disagreed that Marcos had been "dishonorably discharged" following his ouster in 1986, noting Marcos was recognized by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office as a war veteran under Republic Act 6948.

The Court added that Marcos was not convicted by final judgment of any offense involving moral turpitude.

The late strongman's son and namesake, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. was "deeply grateful," saying the SC has once again "taken a magnanimous act to uphold the rule of law."

The former senator also extended his gratitude to Duterte "as his unwavering commitment to this issue sustained us these past several months."

"It is our sincerest hope that this will lead the nation towards healing as we endeavor to move the country forward to give every Filipino a better life," the former lawmaker said in a statement.

Appeal

Petitioner and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, meanwhile, vowed to appeal the ruling.

"While I respect the decision of the Supreme Court, I am puzzled to no end why the majority of the High Court would allow the burial of a judicially and historically confirmed despot, plunderer and transgressor of human rights in the Libingan ng mga Bayani," Lagman said.

"Motions for reconsideration are in order for a reversal of the majority decision," he added.

Duterte believed Marcos should be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani since he was a soldier and former president.

The government also said there was no law prohibiting Marcos from being buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, a cemetery reserved for soldiers, former presidents, national artists and statesmen, and that it is within Duterte's power and prerogative to allow it.

Duterte's decision did not sit well with Martial Law victims and rights groups, who argued that only those who can serve as an inspiration and as models for emulation can be buried at the military shrine, citing Republic Act 289 as basis.

But the government clarified that the late strongman would not gain the status of a "hero" as it acknowledged the "dark pages of history during Martial Law," during which thousands had been killed and jailed for opposing the dictatorship.

Marcos died while on exile in Hawaii in 1989, three years after he was ousted from the presidency through the People Power revolt in February 1986.

His remains, brought home in September 1993, lie inside a glass coffin and on public display at the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte. —NB/KBK/ALG, GMA News

-------------------------

RELATED FROM RAPPLER.COM (COMMENTARY)

COMMENTARY: Supreme Court on the Marcos Role, 1989 Soliman M. Santos Jr Published 10:00 AM, November 07, 2016 Updated 10:05 AM, November 07, 2016


 by: Soliman M. Santos Jr.

The Supreme Court on Ferdinand Marcos, 1989

We look back at a 1989 Supreme Court verdict, when the Tribunal upheld Cory Aquino's decision barring Ferdinand Marcos from returning to the Philippines to die

Flashback to 27 years ago: Marcos vs. Manglapus, G.R. No. 88211, September 15, 1989, 177 SCRA 668.
It is the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) decision that law students are taught and recite on regarding the President's “residual unstated powers.” On this basis, the SC en banc upheld President Corazon Aquino’s decision barring former President Ferdinand Marcos from getting his wish to return from his Hawaii exile to the country to die.

The right to return to one’s country then is certainly much more fundamental than the Marcos issue now at hand in the SC regarding his entitlement to be buried in the national cemetery of heroes, the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

(READ: SC: Verdict on Marcos burial on hold until November 8)

The full 15-member SC vote during that period was a close 8-7. The majority 8 were the following:

Justice Irene Cortes (the ponente or decision writer)
Chief Justice Marcelo Fernan (with a separate concurring opinion)
Justice Andres Narvasa
Justice Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera
Justice Emilio Gancayco
Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino
Justice Leo Medialdea
Justice Florenz Regalado
The minority 7 were the following:

Justice Hugo Gutierrez Jr
Justice Isagani Cruz
Justice Teodoro Padilla
Justice Abraham Sarmiento
Justice Edgardo Paras
Justice Abdulwahid Bidin
Justice Florentino Feliciano
Except for Bidin and Feliciano, the other dissenters issued separate dissenting opinions.

Unanimous on Marcos' role

While the vote was divided, turning as it did on the balance between presidential power to act on “a serious threat to national interest and welfare” on one hand and an individual’s right to return to his country on the other hand, the decision and most of the separate opinions – whether concurring or dissenting – were remarkably unanimous in their negative assessments of the role of Marcos in recent Philippine history, even by the dissenting Justices who voted to uphold his right to return to the country.

To be clear, these negative assessments of Marcos were not the ratio decidendi (legal reasoning basis) for the decision (and we are not going back here to the core constitutional argumentation therein). Those negative assessments of Marcos can be considered mere obiter dicta or side commentaries or opinions that may be relevant to but are not the actual basis, factual and legal, for resolving the constitutional issue.

Those negative assessments of Marcos may however be more relevant to the Marcos Libingan burial issue at hand, pending in the SC, such as along the lines of the petition therein of martial law victim Etta Rosales.

MARCOS VS MANGLAPUS

The Marcos vs. Manglapus Decision itself, to start with, contains a “class by itself” caveat while summarizing that negative assessment of Marcos, thus: “This case is unique. It should not create a precedent, the case of a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing twenty years of political, economic and social havoc in the country and who within the short space of three years seeks to return, is in a class by itself.” But maybe no longer.

The ponente Justice Cortes goes on to say: “We cannot also lose sight of the fact that the country is only now beginning to recover from the hardships brought about by the plunder of the economy attributed to the Marcoses and their close associates and relatives, many of whom are still here in the Philippines in a position to destabilize the country, while the Government has barely scratched the surface, so to speak, in its efforts to recover the enormous wealth stashed away by the Marcoses in foreign jurisdictions. Then, We cannot ignore the continually increasing burden imposed on the economy by the excessive foreign borrowing during the Marcos regime, which stifles and stagnates development and is one of the root causes of widespread poverty and all its attendant ills. The resulting precarious state of our economy is of common knowledge and is easily within the ambit of judicial notice.” “Of judicial notice,” meaning recognized as fact without need of further proof.

Chief Justice Fernan had this to say in his separate concurring opinion: “… It must be remembered that the ouster of the Marcoses from the Philippines came about as an unexpected, but certainly welcomed, result of the unprecedented ‘people’s power” revolution. Millions of our people braved military tanks and firepower, kept vigil, prayed, and in countless manner and ways contributed time, effort and money to put an end to an evidently untenable claim to power of a dictator. The removal of the Marcoses from the Philippines was a moral victory for the Filipino people; and the installation of the present administration, a realization of and obedience to the people’s will.”

Dissenting opinions

Senior dissenting Justice Gutierrez, Jr, for his part, puts it in terms of human rights for all: “…It was precisely the banning by Mr. Marcos of the right to travel by Senators Benigno Aquino, Jr., Jovito Salonga, and scores of other ‘undesirables’ and ‘threats to national security’ during that unfortunate period which led the framers of our present Constitution not only to re-enact but to strengthen the declaration of this right. Media often asks, ‘what else is new?’ I submit that we now have a freedom loving and humane regime. I regret that the Court’s decision in this case sets back the gains that our country has achieved in terms of human rights, especially human rights for those whom we do not like or those who are against us.” Might we hear that again not being set back these days: “the gains that our country has achieved in terms of human rights…”

Dissenting Justice Cruz, a renowned constitutionalist and libertarian, said: “It is my belief that the petitioner, as a citizen of the Philippines, is entitled to return to and live — and die — in his own country. I say this with a heavy heart but say it nonetheless. That conviction is not diminished one whit simply because many believe Marcos to be beneath contempt and undeserving of the very liberties he flouted when he was the absolute ruler of this land.”

Dissenting Justice Sarmiento, whose son and himself were martial victims, was the most gallant to his tormentor, a despot nonetheless: “The power of the President, so my brethren declaim, ‘calls for the exercise of the President's power as protector of peace.’…. This is the self-same falsehood Marcos foisted on the Filipino people to justify the authoritarian rule. It also means that we are no better than he was…. . I am for Marcos' return not because I have a score to settle with him. [My son] Ditto's death or my arrest are scores that can not be settled….I feel the ex-President’s death abroad (presented in the dailies as ‘imminent’) would leave him ‘unpunished’ for his crimes to country and countrymen. If punishment is due, let this leadership inflict it. But let him stand trial and accord him due process…. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, let no more of human rights violations be repeated against any one, friend or foe. In a democratic framework, there is no such thing as getting even.” Wow!

Finally, for whatever it may be worth for the Marcos Libingan burial issue at hand, dissenting Justice Paras had this practical suggestion then: “It is therefore clear to me, all other opinions to the contrary notwithstanding, that the former President should be allowed to return to our country under the conditions that he and the members of his family be under house arrest in his hometown in Ilocos Norte, and should President Marcos or any member of his family die, the body should not be taken out of the municipality of confinement and should be buried within ten (10) days from date.”

As we said early on, the above quoted passages from the SC Decision in Marcos vs. Manglapus are mere obiter dicta, and were not decisive for that case.

But as judicial pronouncements in a SC decision that is already “part of the legal system of the Philippines,” what value if any do they have for the Marcos Libingan burial issue at hand pending in the SC?

Some judicial notice had already been given 27 or “one score and seven years” ago to “the case of a dictator forced out of office and into exile after causing twenty years of political, economic and social havoc in the country.”

Has change come after 27 years to that historical verdict of sorts?

We do not think so. The historical verdict should stand. What perhaps remains in the Marcos Libingan burial case in the SC is to place that historical verdict in a constitutional frame.

There appears to be sufficient constitutional grounds to do so, starting with the history itself of that Constitution.

 May law and history collaborate in its resolution. – Rappler.com


Soliman M. Santos Jr is presently the Judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 61 in Naga City. He is the author of a number of books, including Justice of the Peace: The Work of a First-Level Court Judge in the Rinconada District of Camarines Sur (Quezon City: Central Books, 2015). He has been a political activist and martial law detainee; a long-time human rights and international humanitarian lawyer; legislative consultant and legal scholar; peace advocate, researcher and writer.


PHILSTAR

Libingan burial for FM: • SC votes 9-5-1 • Dissent: Distortion of history • Rody to attend interment By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 9, 2016 - 12:00am 2 9 googleplus0 0


Philippine Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te shows to the media a report he read during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. The Philippine Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos can be buried at the heroes' cemetery, a decision that opponents said rolled back the democratic triumph of the "people power" revolt that ousted Marcos three decades ago. AP Photo/Aaron Favila

• SC votes 9-5-1

• Dissent: Distortion of history

• Rody to attend interment

MANILA, Philippines – The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a former president, commander-in-chief, soldier and war veteran, and his ouster through people power did not take away his privilege to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled yesterday.

Voting 9-5 in session with one abstention, the justices also ruled that President Duterte did not abuse his discretion in allowing Marcos’ burial at the heroes’ cemetery in Taguig.

The SC dismissed the petitions questioning the legality of Duterte’s order last August to allow Marcos’ interment at the Libingan.

READ MORE...

The high court also lifted the status quo ante order it earlier issued, temporarily stopping the burial previously set last Sept. 18, effectively giving the go-signal for the interment.

NO HERO

In their dissenting opinions, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen said a hero’s burial for Marcos would be a distortion of history and would gloss over his “dishonorable discharge from office” and the fact that he was “no hero.”

Malacañang welcomed the SC ruling, with President Duterte expressing his intention to join the interment rites, according to the late strongman’s son and namesake former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The SC decision came 23 years after Marcos’ remains returned to the country from Hawaii where he died in exile in 1989, three years after the historic EDSA People Power revolution that toppled him.

7 PETITIONS DISMISSED

Dismissed were seven petitions 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 Loretta Ann Rosales; a group led by former senator Heherson Alvarez; a group of University of the Philippines students; former Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao human rights chair Algamar Latiph; and Sen.Leila de Lima.

Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta penned the decision with eight justices concurring – Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano Del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, a classmate of Duterte, inhibited.

Agreeing with the position of the Office of the Solicitor General during the oral arguments, the SC held that there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the executive branch as it only upheld the exercise of the prerogative authority of the president under Article VII, Section 17 of the Constitution.

“At bar, President Duterte, acted within the bounds of law and jurisprudence. Notwithstanding the call of human rights advocates, the Court must uphold what is legal and just and that is not to deny Marcos his rightful place at the LNMB,” the high court stressed.

In his concurring opinion, Brion explained that Duterte’s decision is beyond the review power of the judiciary simply because it is a political decision that he said is “not without support for the Filipino electorate.”

DUTERTE'S DECISION

The SC rejected the claim of petitioners that Duterte’s decision was motivated by his debt of gratitude and payback to the Marcoses for supporting his presidential candidacy in the elections last May, saying they failed to establish factual basis for this.

The majority of the justices also held that Marcos possessed the qualifications to be interred at the Libingan as a “former president and commander-in-chief, a legislator, a secretary of national defense, a military personnel, a veteran and a Medal of Valor awardee.”

They believed that the late strongman could not be disqualified from such privilege because of his ouster during the people power revolution, explaining that disqualification for dishonorable separation only applies to military personnel prosecuted before a court martial.

The high court also explained that Duterte is not bound by the 1992 agreement between the Marcos family and former president Fidel Ramos, which stipulated that the Marcos remains would be interred in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

“As the incumbent, President Duterte is free to amend, revoke or rescind political agreements entered into by his predecessors and to determine policies which he considers, based on informed judgment and presumed wisdom, will be most effective in carrying out his mandate,” it explained.

INTERMENT WILL NOT BE A HERO

The SC pointed out that it is not rewriting the nation’s history in allowing Marcos’ burial as the OSG itself had clarified in the oral arguments that interment at LNMB would not make Marcos a hero.

“There are certain things that are better left for history – not this Court – to adjudge. The Court could only do so much in accordance with the clearly established rules and principle,” the ruling read.

“Beyond that, it is ultimately for the people themselves, as the sovereign, to decide, a task that may require the better perspective that the passage of time provides. In the meantime, the country must move and let this issue rest,” it added.

WILL NOT REWRITE HISTORY

“The Court sympathizes with the human rights victims and acknowledges the harrowing ordeals they suffered at the hands of government forces during martial law. The stigma left by the martial law regime will never be forgotten by the Filipino people and the burial of president Marcos (at) the LNMB will not rewrite history,” Mendoza said in his concurring opinion.

Historical truths left out Sereno said the majority decision was in disregard of historical truths and the reparation process for wounds left by the martial law era.

“It would be to disregard historical truths and legal principles that persist after death. As important, it would be to degrade the State’s duty to recognize the pain of countless victims of Marcos and Martial Law,” she said.

“Regardless of the promised national unity that the proposed burial will bring, I cannot, in good conscience, support such an expedient and shortsighted view of Philippine history,” she explained.

A 'MYOPIC VIEW'

She also branded as “a regrettably myopic view” the ruling of the majority that the case is a simple question of the entitlement of a former president and soldier.

Contrary to the majority ruling, Sereno believes President Duterte committed grave abuse of discretion in ordering the Marcos burial at the LNMB.

Aside from Sereno, Carpio and Leonen, the other justices who dissented were Francis Jardaleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

Carpio, for his part, insisted that Marcos was not qualified for LNMB interment due to his ouster in the People Power revolution.

He explained that Marcos’ forcible removal was “the strongest form of dishonorable discharge from office since it is meted out by the direct act of the sovereign people.”

He also stressed that Marcos’ ouster is beyond judicial review and must be accepted as an incontrovertible fact and part of history.

“Marcos is no hero. He was not even an exemplary public officer. He is not worthy of emulation and inspiration by those who suffer poverty as a result of the opportunity lost during his administration, by those who continue to suffer the trauma of the violations to the human dignity of their persons and of their family,” Leonen said.

“He is certainly not worthy of emulation and inspiration by those who do public service, including the lawyers, judges and justices who simply want to do what is right, protect others and conscientiously and diligently protect public funds entrusted to them,” he added.

MARCOS FAMILY

Decision cheered Ilocos Gov. Imee Marcos immediately welcomed the SC ruling as she personally joined their family’s supporters outside the SC compound.

“I thank the Supreme Court. I thank God for not forgetting us,” she told reporters upon learning about the ruling.

The governor also thanked President Duterte for granting their family’s wish even without them asking for it.

She revealed that they have no plans yet on the schedule of the burial, but hinted that her father would most likely be buried beside the late president Carlos Garcia.

“We have yet to discuss it (schedule) with our mother (former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos),” she explained.

Marcos will be the fourth former president to be buried at the LNMB, after Garcia, Elpidio Quirino and Diosdado Macapagal.

“We acknowledge the decision of the Supreme Court to have the remains of former president Ferdinand Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as it is the final arbiter of all legal questions,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

PANELO

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said he had expected the high court to favor the hero’s burial for Marcos.

“Hopefully, the decision will put to rest the opposition to the burial of Marcos,” he said.

Interviewed live by CNN Philippines, Marcos’ only son said Duterte expressed his wish to join the burial rites and inquired about the interment plans.

“We talked briefly and I told him (President) we’re very grateful for his strong and constant support to the burial (at Libingan) of my late father. He believes it was the right thing to do and according to the laws,” the young Marcos said of his brief conversation with the President in Tacloban, Leyte during the third anniversary commemoration of the Yolanda tragedy.

“He (President) asked me when we intend to bury him, I told him I cannot give any details yet. He told me he would like to attend,” the former senator added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to Public Affairs Office chief Col. Edgar Arevalo, is ready to implement the ruling once it receives final instructions. - With Alexis Romero, Jaime Laude, Marichu Villanueva

--------------------------------

RELATED: FROM PHILSTAR

IN QUOTES: Senators react to SC ruling on Marcos burial By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated November 8, 2016 - 10:10pm 18 221 googleplus0 0

Governor Imee Marcos, the eldest daughter of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, flashes a victory sign after the Philippine Supreme Court voted 9-5, with one abstention, to rule that the former dictator can be buried at the heroes' cemetery in a ruling opponents say rolled back the country's democratic triumph when Filipinos ousted the strongman in a 1986 "people power" revolt Tuesday, Nov.8, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. Court spokesman Theodore Te says the 15-member court voted 9-5 with one abstention Tuesday to dismiss petitions opposing President Rodrigo Duterte's approval of Marcos's burial at the cemetery. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines – A number of senators on Tuesday reacted to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to allow hero’s burial for late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Liberal Party senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Leila De Lima, Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros said they were disappointed with the high court’s ruling because, they said, Marcos was no hero. Pangilinan said it was a horrible day for democracy.

Like Aquino, Sen. Joel Villanueva, also an LP bet in the May elections, said he will respect the decision but said it does not mean the end of the fight for human rights victims.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, from the same party as President Rodrigo Duterte, also expressed discontent over the SC’s decision. He said he will try to talk with the president, who pushed for the internment, and discuss his personal opinion that Marcos is no hero.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao was the only senator who so far expressed agreement with the high tribunal’s ruling, saying it is about time for the public to move on and forgive. "Kung kayo naniniwala sa Panginoon, ang Panginoon nga makakapagpatawad, tayo pa kaya? Hindi tayo nakakapagpatawad para lang sa paglibing at unang-una hindi naman against the law iyan, allowed naman yan dahil elected naman siya as a president" [If you believe in the Lord, the Lord of forgiveness and love, so why cant we forgive, who are we? We make forgiveness only for his burial which is not against our country's law, the President was duly elected by the people"]

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III

The Supreme Court decision has established the right of somebody to be buried in a place called Libingan ng mga Bayani but no court case will make somebody a hero in the hearts and minds of the people. Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan

Thanks to the Supreme Court the Philippines will be a laughing stock of the world. We kicked out a reviled dictator and now we are honoring him by burying him in our national heroes cemetery. No less than our Supreme Court wants our citizens, our children to honor a plunderer and tyrant. This is shameful and deplorable. Sen. Leila De Lima

I join the other petitioners in expressing my deepest lament over the decision of the Supreme Court, whereby, by a vote of 9 -5 -1 , the deposed former dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, will be given a "hero's" burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, which will result in a gross distortion of a critical part of the history and evolution of Philippine democracy as we know it. I regret that this development will strike another insulting and unjust blow on the thousands of victims of human rights violations during Martial Law. It is lamentable that, while courts in foreign jurisdictions have managed to deliver justice for them, their own court of Last Recourse has failed them.

Sen. Bam Aquino

We are gravely disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision to bury a corrupt and ruthless dictator in the LNMB. Though we must respect the outcome, my heart goes out to the thousands of victims during the darkest years in Philippine history. We will carry on our work with the Department of Education to ensure that the truth about martial law is effectively taught in our schools. With this decision, we need to be even more vigilant that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. Never again.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros

The Supreme Court has miserably failed the test of history and broken our hearts. By allowing the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the high tribunal has failed to protect the truth from the Marcoses' fictional universe. The decision intends to effectively wipe the Marcos slate clean and negate the sacrifices of the thousands of brave souls who fought and suffered under the brutal Marcos dictatorship.

Sen. Joel Villanueva

We respect the decision of the Supreme Court allowing the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos. However, we would like to reiterate that this is not the end of our fight against human rights abuses which continue to hound us up to this day. At this point, I think we should exert all efforts to ensure that we educate the youth about the atrocities of Martial law and make sure that the future generations will never forget.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao

Kung kayo naniniwala sa Panginoon, ang Panginoon nga makakapagpatawad, tayo pa kaya? Hindi tayo nakakapagpatawad para lang sa paglibing at unang-una hindi naman against the law iyan, allowed naman yan dahil elected naman siya as a president  [If you believe in the Lord, the Lord of forgiveness and love, so why cant we forgive, who are we? We make forgiveness only for his burial which is not against our country's law, the President was duly elected by the people"]


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Imee Marcos apologizes for ‘unexpected incidents’ during Martial Law Published November 12, 2016 9:59pm


Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Saturday apologized for the "unexpected" incidents during Martial Law.

"Iyong tungkol sa apology, sabi ko nga nanghihingi na ako ng patawad sa lahat ng nasaktan sa mga hindi inaasahang mga pangyayari dahil kailanman hindi ninais na may masaktan," the governor said.

The governor clarified that their family does not deny that there were abuses during Martial Law.

"Wala namang sinasabi na walang kasalanan. Eh talaga namang inaamin nating lahat," she said.

The governor made the statement in reaction to the statement of former President Fidel Ramos that the Marcos family owes the country an apology for the abuses committed during Martial Law.

"Address [the apology] to all the descendants of the victims, whether or not there is an investigation, to show sincere desire to discard, reject and eliminate already all the dictatorial tendencies and happenings during that period," Ramos said during an interview with GMA News' Sandra Aguinaldo.

READ MORE...

The Supreme Court voted 9-5 last week, allowing the burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.


In an exclusive interview by GMA News' Sandra Aguinaldo, excerpts of which were shown on "24 Oras" on Friday, Ramos also said the Marcos family owes the public an apology over the abuses committed during the Martial Law years. "Address [the apology] to all the descendants of the victims, whether or not there is an investigation, to show sincere desire to discard, reject and eliminate already all the dictatorial tendencies and happenings during that period," Ramos said. GMA NEWS

Ramos cited during the interview the part of the SC's decision where the tribunal said it disagrees with the petitioners' claim that Marcos was "dishonorably discharged" through the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

"Kung kakalimutan 'yun o iismolin o binabalewala 'yan (EDSA People Power Revolution), para mong binabalewala 'yung paghihirap, pagsisikap, kontribusyon ng mga sundalo at mga pulis kagaya namin," he said.

Marcos' remains were returned to the country from Hawaii after the late dictator's family entered into an agreement with Ramos in 1992.

Ramos had said that based on the agreement, Marcos' body will be allowed to be brought back to the country under certain conditions:

•It is flown straight to Paoay
•He would be given honors befitting a major in the AFP because that was his last rank
•He would not be allowed to be paraded in Metro Manila
•The burial will have to be done in Ilocos Norte, there will be no burial in the LNMB Gov.

Marcos, meanwhile, claimed that it was Ramos who said her father should be buried at the heroes' cemetery.

"Baka nakaligtaan lang niya (Ramos) na in fact, siya ang nagpalawak ng meaning na dapat mailibing sa Libingan ng mga Bayani," she said. —report from Saleema Refran/ALG, GMA News

 
WATCH VIDEO: https://youtu.be/XfDZlZEJ7NU?t=61

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RELATED FROM THE JAKARTA POST ONLINE

Duterte firm on Marcos burial: ‘The law is the law’ Philippine Daily Inquirer
ANN Manila | Sun, November 13, 2016 | 08:40 am


Respect for the law: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo on Oct. 26. President Duterte is standing firm on his decision to allow the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Philippine Heroes' Cemetery, saying he was just strictly following the law, unaffected by any emotions. (AP/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

President Duterte is standing firm on his decision to allow the burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Philippine Heroes' Cemetery, officially known as Libingan ng mga Bayani, saying he was just strictly following the law, unaffected by any emotions.

Duterte said the law allows a former president or a soldier to be buried at Libingan and does not impose any other conditions. His position has been echoed in the ruling by the Supreme Court, which voted 9-5 on Tuesday to clear the legal obstacles to the burial.

“The law is the law. It has no emotions at all. It says that if you are a President (you can be buried there). It does not say you have a record of a dictatorship or what not, or being a gentle despot. It does not say anything like that,” Duterte said in a speech late on Friday at an event to recognize the humanitarian deeds of his late mother, Soledad Duterte.

Insult, desecration

The President’s decision to allow the former dictator a hero’s burial has outraged martial law victims and their families, who view the move as an insult and a desecration of the spirit of people power that ousted Marcos 30 years ago.

The opposition to a hero’s burial for Marcos has broadened after the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), one of the country’s top historians and a Catholic Church group joined calls on the President to reverse his decision.

THE CPP

“President Duterte must be advised against proceeding with such a plan,” the CPP said in a statement on Saturday. “Such payment of political debt to the Marcoses will undoubtedly be regarded as an act of contempt against the Filipino people’s historic judgement against the Marcos dictatorship.”

The CPP, which resumed peace talks under the Duterte administration, said burying Marcos at Libingan will be “the ultimate act of rehabilitation” of the Marcoses after their downfall.

Heed history’s demands

In a letter to the President on Friday, National Historical Commission (NHC) chair Maria Serena Diokno said Duterte had the “unique opportunity and obligation to heed the demands of the justice of history” that will lead to “true healing.”

Diokno said there were also “historical grounds” to stop Marcos’ burial at Libingan based on a recent study of the late president’s war record, citing the “highly questionable” medals the dictator claimed to have received from the US government.

“The justice of history, anchored on historical truth, is far greater than that which any court, including the highest court of the land, can render (or in this case, fail to render),” she said.

CATHOLICS

The Council of the Laity of the Philippines called the high court’s decision “a barefaced disrespect to the victims of one of the darkest moments in the history of our people and our country in general.”

“Marcos may have been a President but he ended up a dictator; he may have been a soldier but his grave abuse of power and systemic violence undermines his well-flaunted valor,” the group said. “There can never be peace without truth and justice.”

This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post


MANILA TIMES

SC allows Marcos burial at Libingan  BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT, JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA, TMT, LLANESCA T. PANTI, TMT AND JAIME PILAPIL, TMT ON ON NOVEMBER 9, 2016 TOP STORIES

Supreme Court on Tuesday junked seven petitions that sought to block the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani confirming a Manila Times exclusive.


VICTORIOUS VIGIL Ilocanos light candles spelling out “ilibing na” (bury now) in front of the provincial capitol of Ilocos Norte, birthplace and bailiwick of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. The Supreme Court voted 9-5 to allow the transfer of the remains of the former president to the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City from Batac town in Ilocos Norte. PHOTO BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

Voting 9-5 with one abstention, the high court also lifted the status quo ante order issued on August 23 and extended twice, allowing the transfer of Marcos’ remains from Batac, Ilocos Norte to the military-run cemetery in Taguig City. The Manila Times earlier reported the Libingan burial would get at least eight votes.

The decision was penned by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta. Those who concurred were Associate
Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

READ MORE...

Those who dissented were Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Marvic Victor Leonen, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes did not take part, being a classmate of Duterte at the College of Law in San Beda.

Brion, Perez and Mendoza submitted concurring opinions. Those who penned dissenting opinions were Sereno, Carpio, Leonen and Caguioa. Court spokesman Theodoro Te said more justices could submit separate opinions.

One of the petitioners against the burial, former congressman Neri Colmenares, said they have 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration.

Five arguments

Peralta outlined five arguments on why Marcos should be allowed a burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani or LNMB.

First, President Duterte committed no grave abuse of discretion in ordering that the remains of Marcos be buried at the Libingan, because this was done in the exercise of his mandate under Article VII, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution to ensure the faithful execution of all laws, it said. In short, there is no law that prohibits the burial of Marcos at the Libingan.

“Notwithstanding the call of human rights advocates, the court must uphold what is legal and just. And that is not to deny Marcos his rightful place at the LNMB. For even the framers of our Constitution intend that full respect for human rights is available at any stage of a person’s development, from the time he or she becomes a person to the time he or she leaves this earth,” Peralta said.

“There are certain things that are better left for history — not this court — to adjudge.”

Second, Duterte was not bound by the 1992 agreement entered into between former president Fidel Ramos and the Marcos family to have the remains interred in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Third, the President has the power to reserve for public use and for specific public purposes any of the lands of public domain, according to the Administrative Code.

“The majority found that the allotment of a cemetery plot at the LNMB for former President Marcos as a former president and commander-in-chief, a legislator, a secretary of national defense, a military personnel, a veteran, and a Medal of Valor awardee, whether recognizing his contributions or simply his status as such, satisfies the public use requirement,” Peralta said.

Fourth, the court found that under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Regulations G161-375, Marcos’ remains could be interred at the Libingan as he “possessed the qualifications and none of the disqualifications” under the regulations.

MARCOS AS A HUMAN BEING

“We agree with the proposition that Marcos should be viewed and judged in his totality as a person. While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us,” the ruling said.

Finally, the court said Marcos was never convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude. The majority did not agree with the dissenting opinion of Carpio who said Marcos was dishonorably discharged by the 1986 “people power” revolt and thus unworthy of burial at the Libingan.

Brion, in his separate opinion, underscored that the President’s act could not be reviewed by the court because the issue was political in nature, a position also taken by Perez and Mendoza.

CJ SERENO DISSENTS

In her dissenting opinion, Sereno said the President acted with grave abuse of discretion because the approval of the burial “violated domestic and international law in relation to the obligations to do justice for human rights victims.”

She added that Marcos was a dictator, plunderer and a human rights violator.

Leonen said Marcos was no hero and not even an exemplary public officer.

“He is not worthy of emulation and inspiration by those who suffer poverty as a result of the opportunity lost during his administration,” he said.

Marcoses relieved

Former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos on Tuesday welcomed the Supreme Court ruling.

“I have accomplished my promise to my father that he be laid to rest at LNBM. We are very happy,” Governor Marcos told reporters on Padre Faura Street where supporters held a vigil.

A smaller anti-Marcos group occupied a space on the street in front of the Supreme Court.

BONGBONG DEEPLY GRATEFUL

Marcos Jr. said he was deeply grateful to the high court.

“We also would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte as his unwavering commitment to this issue sustained us these past several months. Our family will forever be thankful for his kind gesture,” the former senator said.

LAGMAN

One of the petitioners against the burial, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, said: “I am shaken, puzzled to no end, that a despot, plunderer was allowed to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.”

KOKO

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd said he would try to persuade the President to change his heart and stop the burial.

“Maybe the SC decision has established the right of somebody to be buried in a place called LNMB. But no court case will make somebody a hero in the hearts and mind of the people. That cannot be decided through a legal argument,” Pimentel said.

MAKABAYAN BLOC

The Makabayan party-list bloc, which also petitioned against the burial, said it was disappointed with the ruling but would keep its support for President Duterte.

“Makabayan is supporting the administration’s pro-people, pro-poor and independent foreign policies. But at the same time, we are staunchly opposed to burying Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” said Alliance of Concerned Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said he hoped the court decision would help the nation to move on.
“We hope the matter will finally be laid to rest, and that the nation find the wherewithal to move forward and to continue forging a nation that is peaceable, just and fair to all,” he said.

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

SC clears Marcos burial at LNMB Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Wednesday, 09 November 2016

TRIBUNAL: FM JUST HUMAN WHO ERRS


MARCOS LOYALISTS

The Supreme Court, ruling nine in favor, five against and one magistrate seeking inhibition, allowed former President Ferdinand Marcos to be buried, 27 years after his death, at the state-owned Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) as the tribunal recognized his long service to the government.

The high court majority decision that Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta penned said the late strongman cannot be denied the right to be acknowledged as a legislator, a defense secretary, a military personnel, a war veteran and a medal valor awardee.

“There is no law that prohibits the burial,” Court spokesman Theodore Te said as he read a summary of the verdict, to which hundreds of Marcos supporters outside the court cheered.

“We agree with the proposition that Marcos should be viewed and judged in his totality as a person. While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us,” the High Court noted.

READ MORE...

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno along with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa were the dissenters while a confidante of President Rodrigo Duterte, Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes, inhibited from the case.

Aside from Peralta, those who voted to allow his burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig were Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe .

The ruling in effect, denied seven petitions 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 chairman Etta Rosales; a group led by former senator Heherson Alvarez; a group of University of the Philippines students; and former Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao human rights chairman Algamar Latiph; and Senator Leila de Lima that challenged Malacanang’s order to authorize the burial.

Marcos died in exile at the age of 72 on September 28, 1989 of organ failure at the St. Francis Medical Center in Honolulu, three years after he was overthrown by a popular uprising.

His remains are presently on display in a glass crypt at the Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center, in Ilocos Norte.

The late strongman’s daughter Imee, had been cited by President Duterte as among his first supporters among provincial governors when he decided to run for office. Duterte during the campaigns for the elections last May said that he will allow the burial of Marcos at the LNMB as part of measures for national reconciliation.

Saying he was fulfilling a campaign promise, Duterte ordered the army to bury Marcos at the cemetery in August, prompting anti-Marcos groups to seek a ruling from the court.

Te said majority of the magistrates found no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Duterte in granting the plea of the Marcos family to bury the late dictator at the LNMB and announced that the High Tribunal has lifted the status quo ante order (SQA) it earlier issued enjoining Duterte from ordering the remains of Marcsos be buried at the LNMB.


Philippine Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te shows to the media a report he read during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. The Philippine Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos can be buried at the heroes' cemetery, a decision that opponents said rolled back the democratic triumph of the "people power" revolt that ousted Marcos three decades ago. AP Photo/Aaron Favila FROM PHILSTAR

Te explained that the SC found that the President committed no grave abuse of discretion in ordering that the remains of former President Marcos be buried in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB) because this was done in the exercise of his mandate under Artile VII, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution.

“At bar, President Duterte, through the public respondents acted within the bounds of law and jurisprudence.


PRESIDENT DUTERTE

Notwithstanding the call of human rights advocates, the Court must uphold what is legal and just. And that not to deny Marcos his rightful place at the LNMB,” the ruling said.

Te said magistrates did not say whether the ruling is immediately executory but said the petitioners may still file a motion for reconsideration.

The SC added Duterte is not bound by the 1992 Agreement entered into between former President Fidel Ramos and the Marcos family to have late president’s remains interred in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

The Court pointed out that as incumbent President, Duterte has the right “to amend, revoke, or rescind political agreements entered into by his predecessor” and to come up with policies which he thinks will be effective in fulfilling his mandate.

Likewise, the Court recognized the President’s power under the Administrative Code to reserve for public use and for any specific public purpose any of the lands of the public domain.

“The majority found that the allotment of a cemetery plot at the LNMB for former President Marcos as a former President and Commander-in-Chief, a legislator, a Secretary of National Defense, a military personnel, a veteran, and a Medal of Valor awardee, whether recognizing his contributions or simply his status as such, satisfies the public use requirement,” Te said.

The Court also held that the petitioners failed to back their claims that Duterte was motivated by debt of gratitude and payback to the Marcoses for their support in the last elections in allowing the late strongman’s burial at the LNMB.

“As the purpose is not self-evident, petitioners have the burden of proof to establish the factual basis of their claim. They failed. Even so, this Court cannot take cognizance of factual issues since we are not a trier of facts,” the Court ruled.

SC: No conviction on Marcos


GOOGLED IMAGE

The Court also did not give credence to the arguments of the petitioners that Marcos was disqualified to be buried at the LNMB because he had been convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.

In fact, the Court noted Marcos was not convicted by final judgment of any offense involving moral turpitude.

While the petitioners cited various cases which were decided with finality by local and foreign courts, the SC said these have no bearing on the issue since these cases were merely civil in nature and do not establish moral turpitude.

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman, immediately welcomed the SC ruling, describing it as “a magnanimous act to uphold the rule of law.”

“We also would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte as his unwavering commitment to this issue sustained us these past several months. Our family will forever be thankful for his kind gesture,” Marcos Jr. said.“It is our sincerest hope that this will lead the nation towards healing as we endeavor to move the country forward to give every Filipino a better life,” he added.


Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr on Tuesday, November 8, thanked the Supreme Court for favoring a hero’s burial for his father which, he hopes, would lead to national “healing.”  COURTTESY OF RAPPLER.COM

An answered prayer was how Marcos described the SC ruling.

“It’s something that we have been praying for. It’s an answered prayer. We’ve always believed that it is his right to be buried at LNMB. We hope that this will be beginning of process of uniting the country,” the senator was quoted saying in a television interview, immediately after leakage on the ruling of the high court was reported by various media entities.

Previous presidents had refused to allow the burial because of Marcos’s crimes, and the preserved body had been kept in a glass casket at his home in the northern province of Ilocos Norte.

Duterte, a longtime ally of the Marcos family, has stated that Marcos deserved to be buried at the heroes’ cemetery based simply on the fact he had been a president and a veteran of World War II.

Duterte also said he owed loyalty to the family because his father served in the Marcos government and the family had helped to fund his election campaign.

Time to move on — Palace



Malacanang said that it’s about time for the people to move on. In a statement, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the SC ruling should be a step forward towards reconciliation despite the “dictator” label on Marcos.
“We acknowledge the decision of the Supreme Court to have the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani as it is the final arbiter of all legal questions,” he said.

“We hope the matter will finally be laid to rest and that the nation will find the wherewithal to move forward and to continue forging a nation that is peaceable, just and fair to all,” Abella stressed.

Meanwhile, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said that he has long been certain that the SC will favor Duterte’s granting Marcos a burial at the LNMB.



“As I have expected the ruling validates our theory that the law and the regulations allow the burial of ex-Presidents and soldiers in the Libingan ng mga Bayani,” Panelo said in a text message to reporters covering the Palace.

Panelo, who has been a legal associate of the Marcos family, insisted that there’s no sense anymore in dwelling on the “emotional issue” about Marcos saying that there are more pressing concerns that it.

“Hopefully, the decision will put to rest the opposition to the burial of Marcos. It’s about time the nation moves on and confronts the more pressing concerns of the country rather than linger on an emotional issue that is unproductive as it is divisive,” Panelo said.

Pimentel: Duterte can still change mind



Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, a close political ally of Duterte, bared plans of seeking an audience with Duterte to discuss the issue in hope of persuading him to reconsider making good his campaign promise to the Marcoses.

“I’ll discuss it with him. Depending on the reasoning of the SC because the power is with the President so that means he can change his mind,” he said.

The Senate chief might take the opportunity of bringing up the issue on Monday with Duterte.

“I can bring this up, that the legal battle is over. It’s back to political arena. Hence, he is the number one political figure in the country and the power actually belongs to him to decide or pursue to abandon the plan,” he said.

The SC decision may have established the right of somebody to be buried in LNMB, Pimentel said.

“But no court case will make somebody a hero in the hearts and mind of the people. Hindi nadadaan sa legal argument iyan,” he said.

Pimentel did not hide his position on being against the decision of the President.

“This has been one issue where I surprisingly found out that the party is divided and I got surprised because I thought overwhelmingly we will be against,” the Senate leader, referring to the position of the administration party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), in which they stood divided on the issue of allowing Marcos being buried in LNMB.

“If I were a member of the SC, then I would have found myself into the dissenting side,” he said.

AFP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it respects and abide by the SC decision.

“We are yet to get a copy of the decision of the Court,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP-Public Affairs Office chief ,adding “we are unaware of the details of the decision though.”

“That notwithstanding, the AFP respects and will abide by the decision of the Court and will perform what the military will be mandated to do,” he added.

“We will not hinder the rule of law and its interpretation— the Supreme Court being the court of last resort,” Arevalo also said.

The same pronouncements were echoed by the Army. “We heard it was approved by the SC. We have yet to read the ruling. We can’t comment yet at this time. The Philippine Army will wait for the guidance of our General Headquarters,” said Col. Benjamin Hao, spokesman of the Army.

'Yellows' outraged


PANGILINAN, NEW PRESIDENT OF THE LIBERAL PARTY  "Philippines will be laughing stock of the world.'

Allies of former President Aquino expressed outrage at the majority of SC justices for the decision favoring the LNMB burial of Marcos.

“This is a horrible day for democracy. Thanks to the SC of the Philippines will be a laughing stock of the world. We kicked out a reviled dictator and now we are honoring him by burying him in our national heroes cemetery. No less than our SC wants our citizens, our children to honor a plunderer and tyrant. This is shameful and deplorable,” said Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

Neophyte Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who ran and won the Senate seat last May 9 under the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party (LP) of Aquino, said the SC has miserably failed the test of history.

“And (it has) broken our hearts. By allowing the remains of the late dictator to be buried in the LNMB, the high tribunal has failed to protect the truth from the Marcoses’ fictional universe. The decision intends to effectively wide the Marcos slate clean and negate the sacrifices of the thousands of brave souls who fought and suffered under the brutal Marcos dictatorship,” she said.

Furthermore, Hontiveros said the decision also undermined existing laws such as the Human Rights Victims and Reparation Act of 2013 aimed to provide full and effective reparation to the victims of Martial Law and recognition of the abuses that took place.


HONTIVEROS

“I believe that the SC decision is not executor. The decision to give the late dictator a hero’s burial is still in the hands of President Duterte,” she said.

“Hontiveros even pleaded to her colleagues to approve her filed resolution No. 86, expressing the sense of the Senate that the crimes of the former president to the Republic and the human rights violations committed under his regime, render him unfit to be buried at the LNMB, be approved, effectively have the upper chamber take a stand not to allow the late dictator to be given a hero’s burial.

“At a time when truth and history are threatened, the Senate must take a brave stand,” the senator said, even as she admitted that approval of the said resolution could not change the decision of the high court.

Senators Leila de Lima and Bam Aquino, both also members of LP, likewise joined and closed ranks with the position of Pangilinan and Hontiveros on the matter.

A hero’s burial will result in a gross distortion of a critical part of the history and evolution of Philippine democracy, De Lima said.

“I regret that this development will strike another insulting and unjust blow on the thousands of victims of human rights violations during Martial Law. It is lamentable that, while courts in foreign jurisdictions have managed to deliver justice for them, their own court of Last Recourse has failed them,” she said.



“I regret that the Filipino people will not only have suffered as a result of the rampant corruption that infected the bureaucracy during the Marcos regime the effects of which are still felt today, but will also suffer the indignity of being forced to support the burial of the former President on public land, with public funds and with the ironic label of ‘hero’,” De Lima added.

Aquino, a presidential cousin of former Pres. Aquino, did not hide his disappointment in SC decision saying that the high court is allowing a corrupt and ruthless dictator to be buried in the LNMB.

“Though we must respect the outcome, my heart goes out to the thousands of victims during the darkest years in Philippine history. We will carry on our work with the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure that the truth about martial law is effectively taught in our schools,” he said. Angie M. Rosales, Charlie V. Manalo, Ted Tuvera, Mario J. Mallari, Gerry Baldo, AFP


PHILSTAR

Burying Marcos at Libingan does not make him a hero, says Panelo By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated November 10, 2016 - 4:58pm 13 40 googleplus0 0


The Supreme Court ruling “should be considered a victory for both the sympathizers and critics of Marcos," said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani does not make him a hero, President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal adviser said, amid fierce debates on whether the late dictator deserves the honor.

In a statement, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the view of each Filipino on Marcos, not his burial place, would determine whether he is a hero or not.

“It should be made clear, however, that the Supreme Court ruling does not make the former president a hero. What is clear from public sentiment is that he will remain a scoundrel to some and hero to others,” Panelo said in a statement.

READ MORE...


PANELO

“The truth is heroes are heroes whether they are buried at the Libingan or under a pile of rock; and ditto for scoundrels. It is each Filipino’s opinion of the former president, and not his final resting place, that will ultimately cement his status as hero or scoundrel,” he added.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed petitions challenging the legality of Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Voting 9-5 with one abstention, the high court said no law prevents the interment of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery. According to the court, the late president was not convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.

The Supreme Court also disagreed with petitioners who claimed that Marcos was dishonorably discharged during the 1986 EDSA revolt, noting that the disqualification only covers the military. It also noted that Marcos was a former president, soldier and lawmaker and can therefore be interred at the Libingan.

PUT CLOSURE, ALLOW FILIPINOS TO MOVE ON

Duterte had said that he is in favor of burying Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery because it would put closure to the issue and allow the Filipinos to move on. The president clarified though that he is burying Marcos as a former president and war veteran as the debate on whether Marcos was really a hero may not be resolved for now.

Those opposed to the burial said the ruling constitutes “injustice” to human rights abuses during the Marcos regime. They also claimed that a hero’s burial for Marcos sends a wrong signal and could lead to historical revisionism.

Panelo said the varying views of Marcos is “part of a healthy democracy” but “forcing one’s opinion on others is not.”

“Because of the sacrifices of many, we enjoy the right to voice our opinion on the former president and on the Supreme Court’s decision. So, yes, exercise your right. Protest or celebrate, as you wish. The president (Duterte) may not agree with what some might say, but he will die fighting for everyone’s right to say what he or she pleases,” Panelo said.

“Congratulations are in order to all Filipinos. Ironic as it may be to some, the days of tyrannical rule by one man or by the ruling elite appear to be behind us more so than at any point in our country’s post-martial law history,” he added.

Panelo said while the government sympathizes with the victims of martial law and their families, the Supreme Court ruling “should be considered a victory for both the sympathizers and critics of Marcos."

“Despite the former president’s transgressions, and after a fair and transparent process, the Supreme Court decided – an action supported by the results of a democratic election – on the basis of law and only law,” he said.

---------------------------------

RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Two senators join hundreds in UP protest vs. Marcos’ Libingan burial Published November 12, 2016 8:38pm By JESSICA BARTOLOME, GMA News


Mar, Kiko, Risa, Leila join Luneta protest vs hero’s burial for Marcos FROM POLITICS.COM

Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Saturday joined groups against the burial of late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The two senators, joined hundreds of men and women wearing black at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in Quezon City, where the "Great Lean" protest run took place.

The "Great Lean" is inspired by the late Leandro "Lean" Alejandro, a student activist who was killed in 1987 by gunmen believed to be members of the Philippine Army loyal to Marcos.

Both senators spoke to the crowd during a program held prior to the run, which covered the entire university oval.

Pangilinan said that the Supreme Court's decision to allow the burial of the late strongman at the Libingan ng mga Bayani seemed like a bad dream.

"Parang masamang panaginip...pinatalsik natin nung 1986, tapos ngayon ililibing natin bilang bayani," he said.

The Supreme Court's decision turned the Philippines into a laughing stock, Pangilinan added.

The Supreme Court voting 9-5, allowed the burial of the late dictator.

Hontiveros, meanwhile, said that giving justice for the victims of Martial Law should instead have been the priority.

"Siguro marami tayong kababayan lalo na yung mga biktima ng Martial Law dictatorship na ang dying wish ay makitang ganap na malaya at may pagrespeto sa kasaysayan ang ating sambayanan. Mas yun sana ang mabigyan daan," she said. —ALG, GMA News


INQUIRER

READ: Associate Justice Bersamin on voting ‘Yes’ to Marcos’ burial INQUIRER.net / 09:40 PM November 10, 2016


SCPh Justice Lucas Bersamin.jpg FROM WIKIPEDIA

The Supreme Court on November 8 allowed the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City. The high tribunal voted 9-5 with one abstention to dismiss the petition filed by anti-Marcos groups and personalities to block the President Duterte’s order.

READ: SC votes, 9-5, for burial of Marcos at Libingan

Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin was one of the eight who voted “Yes.” In his decision released by the Supreme Court on Thursday he wrote:

“The interment of the remains of President Marcos in the LNMB is a matter that exclusively pertains to the discretion of President Duterte as the Chief Executive. The character of the LMNB as the resting place for the war dead and other military personnel under the care and control of the AFP has placed the LMNB under the control of the President. Plainly enough, the President thereby exercised such control through the AFP Chief of Staff.

“President Duterte of his discretion upon a matter under his control like the interment of the remains of President Marcos in the LNMB is beyond review by the Court. He has not thereby transgressed any legal boundaries.

“President Marcos—being… a two-term President of the Philippines, a Medal of Valor awardee, a veteran of World War II, a former Senator and Senate President, and a former Congressman, by any of which was qualified to have his remains be interred in the LNMB.” Totel V. de Jesus

READ FULL FULL DECISION HERE

-------------------------------------------------

RELATED COMMENTARY FROM PHILSTAR

10 reasons why the SC voted to bury AS EASY AS ABC By Atty. Alex B. Cabrera (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 13, 2016 - 12:00am 3 418 googleplus0 0


CABRERA: PHILSTAR BUSINESS COLUMNIST

We are still dazed in disbelief, despite warning signs. When it came, it was a letdown that feels like the interment of the struggles of one generation.

Call it the Philippine contribution to the global shock from New World Order on the heels of the likes of Brexit and Trump. The country that gave the world the precedent called People Power Revolution, that had its first woman president who then received standing ovations from a grand auditorium of US senators and congressmen – is now burying the dictator it ignominiously booted out as a hero.

We all err, according to the Supreme Court (SC). So can a president who favors the ardent wishes of a family over the fervent sentiment of a nation. My legal training though prevails on me to give the SC decision and the justices a fair shake and allow the readers to see it from the eyes of the nine. These are their reasons:

1. President Duterte’s decision to have the remains of Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) is a political question. This means that the question is not whether it is legal to do so but whether it is the wise thing to do. So if President Duterte thinks it will promote national healing and forgiveness, even if the SC disagrees with that, it cannot stop him unless he is doing an illegal act.

2. There is no factual evidence that in the guise of exercising a presidential prerogative, Duterte was only motivated by utang na loob (debt of gratitude) and bayad-utang (payback) to the Marcoses.

3. Military memorials are under the administration of the Department of National Defense (DND), and the president has control and supervision of the DND. Since what is at issue is the directive of the Secretary of DND, the “petition” should have been filed first before the Secretary to allow him to correct himself, and if necessary, appeal the Secretary’s position to the Office of the President. This is what is required of “exhaustion of administrative remedies” before going to court.

4. Taxpayers also have no legal standing to complain because they can only do so if public funds are illegally disbursed or misused. Taxpayers, however, have not been able to show that there is a law that expressly or impliedly disqualifies Marcos to be interred at LNMB. The SC said he was a former president and commander-in-chief, legislator, defense secretary, and an awarded military veteran.

5. Concerned citizens cannot stop the burial unless they show that the issues they raise are of “transcendental importance, overreaching significance to society, or of paramount public interest”. At this point, the burial of Marcos at the LNMB will have no profound effect on our lives.

6. Human rights violations victims who decry the “retraumatization” will not be deprived of their rights under the Republic Act 10368, which is the law that requires the recognition of violations committed against Martial Law victims. Legislators could have easily stated that Marcos’ interment at the LNMB shall not be allowed as part of the reparation for human rights victims, but they did not.

7. There are “national historical shrines” across the country created by law that are sites of birth, exile, detention or death of eminent leaders of the nation. It is the government’s obligation to keep these places “sacred and hallowed”. The LNMB is not such a shrine as it is originally intended for the war dead and to symbolize “the cause for which our soldiers have died”. Like the US Army military cemeteries, such as the Arlington, the LNMB is a “national shrine for military memorials”.

8. If the standard is that the LNMB is reserved only for the decent and the brave, or “hero”, then that will put into question the validity of the burial of every mortal buried there.

9. “Sacred and hallowed” refers to the place. Marcos’ remains being buried there does not diminish the nation’s reverence for the others, such as the war dead, whose remains are buried there as well.

10. Marcos should be judged in his totality as a person. “While he was not all good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human, he erred like us”.

FACT

The unemphasized fact is that Marcos is not only a previous soldier. He was the dictator who was the most divisive figure in the country for two decades.

Stolen wealth of P170 billion has been recovered but the rest of the lot, the family continues to hold on to.

Even laws passed to officialize and memorialize the atrocities during Martial Law were simply not enough proof.

Certainly, justices are just humans who can err just like us.

And if we judge that this is “another gloomy day” for the judiciary, we apologize if we err as well.

Even in death, and now, after burial, Marcos will divide the nation. And all the undertakers will define their place in history.

* * *


Alexander B. Cabrera is the chairman and senior partner of Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines. He also chairs the Educated Marginalized Entrepreneurs Resource Generation (EMERGE) program of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP). Email your comments and questions to aseasyasABC@ph.pwc.com. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.


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