Supreme Court upholds hero's burial for Marcos

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 10-5, the Supreme Court (SC) en banc upheld on Tuesday, August 8, its earlier decision granting a hero's burial for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

"The Court, voting 10-5, denied the motions for reconsideration filed by petitioners of the Court's decision dated November 8, 2016," SC Spokesman Theodore Te said in a news briefing on Tuesday. (READ: Marcos buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani)

The controversial decision last year was appealed by 7 groups, some of which were led by opposition lawmakers Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman and detained Senator Leila de Lima.

Asked if the dismissal of the appeals are final, Te said: "Under the rules, each party is allowed only one motion for reconsideration, unless another party wishes to file a motion but I don't think that's going to happen, so I will suppose upon the lapse of the period it becomes final."

Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18, 2016 or 10 days after the SC decision, despite the appeals filed by anti-Marcos groups. (READ: TIMELINE: The Marcos burial controversy)

The 5 justices who dissented the first time remain the dissenters in the new decision: Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and Associate Justices Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa. (READ: Marcos burial: What did the dissenting SC justices say?)

Newly-appointed Associate Justice Andres Reyes Jr voted in favor of the Marcos burial, joining Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta (ponente), Presbitero Velasco Jr, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Teresita de Castro, Jose Mendoza, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Noel Tijam, and Samuel Martires.

A copy of the decision explaining the specific grounds for the dismissal of the appeals was not yet available on Tuesday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Malacañang acknowledges the SC decision as "the final arbiter of all legal questions."

Abella added, "We hope the matter ... will finally be laid to rest, and that the country will move forward as one united nation working for a comfortable life for all, law and order, and lasting peace."

President Rodrigo Duterte had ordered the hero's burial for Marcos as a fulfillment of the campaign promise he made to the Marcos family and to Ilocanos. (READ: Duterte on Marcos burial: Let history judge, I followed law Rappler.com

 

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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