Anti-Marcos groups upset with SC’s ruling on Marcos burial

Nov. 13, 2016
NEVER FORGET. Using umbrellas, members of Konsyensya Dabaw movement call on the public not to forget the Martial Law as they renew their call to President Rodrigo Duterte to have the burial of the late strongman, President Ferdinand Marcos, Sr., in Batac, Ilocos Norte. The group held their protest action in front of the Ateneo de Davao University on Sunday, August 21, 2016. (Medel V. Hernani/

Members of Konsyensya Dabaw movement groups are dismayed at the Supreme Court decision to allow former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery. (Medel V. Hernani/ file photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Anti-Marcos groups are dismayed at the Supreme Court decision to allow former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. to be buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery.

The High Tribunal on Nov. 8 voted 9-5-1 with one abstention, dismissing the petition of anti-Marcos groups to block the supposed burial of Marcos as ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte, a staunch ally of Marcoses.

For Konsensya Dabaw, a Davao-based group opposing Marcos hero’s burial said the High Tribunal’s decision did not sit well to them but would “respect” it.

“Our fight is not yet done.  There’s a bigger battle that awaits us all and that is to fight for the truth and win the sympathy of the people,” Mags  Maglana, spokesperson of the group, said.

“To the politician who endorsed to bury a dictator in exchange of funds and support from the Marcoses, I consider this as a concrete proof that ‘change has come.’ Thanks to the lesson learned,” Maglana added, in reference to Pres. Duterte who admitted that Marcos’ daughter, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos funded his presidential campaign.

For its part, the Order of Friars Minor in the Philippines, a Roman Catholic religious order, maintained that Marcos was not a “hero.”

“We, the friars of the Order of Friars Minor-Province of San Juan Bautista in the Philippines, who participated in the struggle for justice and peace during and after the martial rule express our sadness, disappointment, frustration, dissatisfaction, irritation with the Supreme Court decision,” said Brother Alejo Villanueva, OFM, provincial animator in a Nov. 10  statement posted on the website of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The Franciscan order said they could never forget the massive plunder of Marcos amounting to an estimated Php 167,636,000, the 3,240 persons killed during the dictatorial rule, the 70,000 people imprisoned, the 35,000 tortured during Martial Law.

For Grace Mahinay, a Martial Law survivor in Davao, the SC’s decision to bury Marcos at the Heroes’ Cemetery is morally incorrect.

“Marcos is a fascist dictator who amassed wealth illegally for 20 years. During his dictatorial rule, many were killed, tortured, illegally arrested, detained and disappeared which makes Marcos a great human rights violator,” Mahinay said, explaining her opposition to SC’s ruling.

Mahinay said Marcos and his family should be held accountable for all the sins they have done to the country and the Filipino people.

“As a victim of Martial Law’s brutality, I urge that the Marcoses should return their ill-gotten wealth to the Filipino people and indemnify the victims,” she said.

Petitioner Aida Santos has also slammed SC for being subservient to the wishes of the president.

“We are hoping for a 7-7 votes…unfortunately, this is politics in command. This is not an issue of the SC being the highest dispenser of justice…We have been patient and we argued well that Marcos is not a hero…,” Santos told CNN Philippines in an interview.

“On one hand, we are saddened by the decision because we believed that we have a small chance at SC since they claimed that they are independent that is not subservient to the executive,” she added.

The High Tribunal’s decision has affirmed the earlier stand of Pres. Duterte that Marcos can be legally buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery because he was a president and a soldier.

“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,” Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said in the SC ruling.

Peralta is the ponente of the SC’s majority decision and concurred by the other SC Justices, namely:  Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco, Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, Arturo Brion, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo, Jose Perez, Jose Mendoza and Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Francis Jardeleza, and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa dissented; while Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes did not take part in the voting. (

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