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Published: Wed, November 09, 2016
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Pimentel to convince Duterte not to allow Marcos burial at LNMB

Pimentel to convince Duterte not to allow Marcos burial at LNMB

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.

There were 5 dissenters to the majority decision: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Caguioa.

"We are still expecting that we could alter that decision through a motion for reconsideration", he added.

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. "It's still Duterte! Let the Supreme Court decision be upheld", she said, to shouts of joy from her supporters.

"From a legal standpoint, there is nothing in the existing laws of the country that prevents even a former dictator to be buried in the national cemetery", said Aries Arugay, who studies political science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, "especially dictators who were never convicted in any court". "They failed. Even so, this Court can not take cognizance of factual issues since we are not a trier of facts", the Court said.

His 20-year presidency was marked by widespread corruption and human rights abuses to silence opponents. "We will not stop fighting for justice", Santos said.

"While he (Marcos) was not entirely good, he was not pure evil either. Certainly, just a human who erred like us", the Court said.

"The various cases cited by petitioners, which were decided with finality by courts here and overseas, have no bearing in this case since they were merely civil in nature [and] do not establish moral turpitude", said the majority decision. They lit candles and offered prayers for the victims of human rights violations under the Marcos rule.

Petitioners argued that the planned burial of the late dictator is "illegal and contrary to law, public policy, morals and justice".

Children of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, centre right, and his younger sister Irene Marcos-Araneta arrive at the vigil to lend support to Marcos loyalists.

President Rodrigo Duterte had announced plans for the move shortly after his election in May.

"Regardless of the promised national unity that the proposed burial will bring, I can not, in good conscience, support such as expedient and shortsighted view of Philippine history", Sereno said.

"We hope the matter will finally be laid to rest, and that the nation finds the wherewithal to move forward and to continue forging a nation that is peaceable, just and fair to all", Ernestor Abella, the president's spokesperson, said in a statement.

The dictator and his wife Imelda led their family into United States exile in 1986 after a military-backed "People Power" revolution toppled him from power.

Television, radio stations and newspapers were only allowed to promote his "New Society", so the public was fed a constant stream of praise for Marcos and his jet-setting wife, whose extravagance was a sharp contrast to the poverty of most Filipinos.

Mr Duterte's reversal of a ban by previous presidents and his appeasing of the still powerful and rich Marcos clan prompted anti-Marcos protests on Manila's streets over recent weeks. His remains were repatriated in 1993, but his preserved corpse has remained unburied due to his family's long-standing request for his interment in the Heroes' Cemetery.

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