The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani was made official today. There were 9 Associate Justices in favor of the burial, while Chief Justice Marina Sereno, along with 4 other Associate Justices voted against it. It was only Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes who inhibited himself from voting.
Supreme Court spokesperson, Ted Te, said that the court had ultimately dismissed all the petitions averse to the Marcos burial in the Heroes’ cemetery. According to this CNN article written earlier today, Te stated that these were the five main reasons of said dismissal:
- There was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of President Rodrigo Duterte in ordering the burial of Marcos at LNMB because it was done in the exercise of his mandate. There is also no law that prohibits the burial of Marcos’ remains at the LNMB
- President Duterte has the power to reserve for public use and for specific public purposes, any of the lands under public domain.
- Marcos’ remains, under regulations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, can be interred at LNMB because he was a former president, commander-in-chief, soldier, medal of valor awardee, and legislator.
- The Supreme Court disagreed Marcos was “dishonorably discharged,” saying the disqualification only pertains to the military
- Marcos cannot be disqualified from burial at LNMB because he was not convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude.
Although Bongbong Marcos expressed his gratitude on behalf of his family, he stated that his mother, Imelda, will ultimately make the decision as to whether or not the burial will take place.
It isn’t surprising that the result has sparked outrage among the Filipino community, with a part of the population who had experienced being victimized by the Marcos regime. Symbolically speaking, even if the LNMB is under public domain, it is reserved in the sense that only those who have served and protected the country honorably have a right to be laid to rest there.
A ‘hero’, by definition, is “a person who is admired or idealized for outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”.
He may have had “outstanding achievements”, building several infrastructure projects for the country that no other leader has come close to producing, which resulted in the incredible increase of national debt.
However, can one honestly speak of his “noble qualities”?
Was there selflessness in the torture and murder of those who dared to speak against him? Was there patience in the continuous violation of basic human rights under his “leadership”? Was there “courage” when he fled to Hawaii instead of facing the consequences of his rule? And now, long after his death, his kin insist upon his recognition as a hero. A humble and caring leader. Everything that Ferdinand Marcos is not.
There is mourning happening today, but not the mourning of a fallen leader.
It is the mourning of the faith lost because of this decision. The mourning for those whose suffering was trampled upon and made unworthy of consequence and consideration. Filipinos, move forward. It is the only thing left to do.