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Lauredo, Caleb L.

Reflection Paper on Marcos Burial
One of the biggest issues that surround out country nowadays is the
once proposed and eventual burial of the late President and Dictator
Ferdinand Marcos. Marcos was known for his long reign as the Chief
Executive of the Philippines, being in office from September 11, 2016 until
being ousted due to the People Power Revolution in 1986. His tenure was
made famous for the declaration of Martial Law and the different injustices
that came out during the regime.
Being preserved in his hometown of Batac, Ilocos Norte, several
moves have already been attempted by the family of the late dictator to
ensure his place in the much revered Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (LNMB),
only for the requests to be denied by the administration of the Presidents
who came after him. Talks once again arose when the now President
Rodrigo Duterte, during his campaign, has stated his intention of burying the
remains of the former dictator in the LNMB. Duterte eventually won the
presidency and kept true to his word by ordering the immediate burial of the
remains of the former dictator in the said cemetery. Duterte justified his
order by stating that the former dictator was once also a president and a
solider, which makes him qualified to be buried in the LNMB. Criticisms
arose from the public for the said order which caused a number of concerned
citizens to file a case upon the Supreme Court in order to prevent the said
burial. The cases G.R. No. 225973 (Saturnino C. Ocampo, et al. v. Rear
Admiral Ernesto C. Enriquez, et al.), G.R. No. 225984 (Rep. Edcel C.
Lagman, Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND), et al. v.
Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, et al.), G.R. No. 226097
(Loretta Ann Pargas-Rosales, et al. v. Executive Secretary Salvador C.
Medialdea, et al.), and G.R. No. 226116 (Heherson T. Alvarez, et al. v.
Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, et al.), G.R. No. 226117 (Zaira
Patricia B. Baniaga, et al. v. Secretary of National Defense, et al.), G.R. No.
226120 (Algamar A. Latiph v. Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, et al.) and G.R.
No. 226294 (Senator Leila M. De Lima v. Executive Secretary Salvador C.
Medialdea, et al.) were all filed and consolidated by the Supreme Court for
their decision.
The petitioners contended that respondents Secretary of National
Defense and AFP Rear Admiral committed grave abuse of discretion,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, when they issued the assailed
memorandum and directive in compliance with the verbal order of President
Duterte to implement his election campaign promise to have the remains of
Marcos interred at the LNMB. They have also asserted that issuance and the
implementation of the assailed memorandum ordering the burial of Marcos n
the LMNB violate the Constitution, domestic, and international law. Another

contention of the petitioners is that the injustices he committed has nullified

his right to be buried in the LNMB as a soldier and a president. 1
On November 10, 2016, the Supreme Court En Banc released the decision
for the pending case, voting 9-5, in favor of the dismissal of the petition and
allowing the pending burial of the late dictator. The Supreme Court, in their
decision, stated that there is no clear constitutional or legal basis to hold
that there was grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction which would justify the Court to interpose its authority to check
and override an act entrusted to the judgment of another branch. The
ponente also stated that it still is upon the discretion of the President if the
body of Marcos can and should be buried in the LNMB. The Court also
noted that 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 2 adding that Marcos has not been
disqualified to be buried in the LNMB because he was not in any way
convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. The court also refused to
answer the question of whether or not it is morally right to bury the body of
Marcos in the LNMB, stating that it is not within their duty and powers to
answer such questions.
Such decision, with the inclusion of the surprise burial of the late dictator,
has drawn flack from the different sectors of the country. Several mass
protests have been held against the act, some even demanding to excavate
the remains of Marcos from the grave. May opinion in this issue lies mainly
with the dissent of Chief Justice Serreno. She stated in her dissent that the
symbolism of the burial will outlive even their most emphatic refutations.
Long after the clarifications made by this administration have been
forgotten, the gravesite at the LNMB will remain 3. The burial of the late
dictator in the LNMB, though legal, is a blatant disrespect to the Martial
Law victims and their families. History has already shown and demonstrated
the abuses the Marcos administration has committed during its reign.
Thousand of people have died during the regime, with most of them still
hasnt been served justice up to this date. I personally cannot stomach the
thought of a dictator, one who has ordered the execution of countless
innocent lives, to be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani, much more to be
called one. This is a personally who has personally wished to be revered as a
hero. This is a family that did not respect an agreement entered into with
another former president where he should be buried in his hometown. This is
the family that killing thousands, stole billions, and offered no apologies for
the people of this country. He is no hero. I have and I will always stand my
ground against the burial of Marcos just life I have fought against the other
injustices committed by this government and the previous administrations
before it.

1 Ocampo v. Enriquez, et al, G.R. No. 225973, November 10, 2016

2 Id
3 Id