“Don’t they know Marcos was a convicted plunderer and human rights violator?” — Martial law victim Marie Hilao-Enriquez
By RONALYN V. OLEA
MANILA — Voting 9-5, the Supreme Court has given the go-signal for the internment of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
SC spokesperson Theodore Te announced the high court’s decision dismissing the petitions against the burial of Marcos at around 2 p.m., Nov. 8.
The SC maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not commit grave abuse of discretion when President Duterte ordered Marcos to be buried at the LNMB.
The high court argued that based on the regulations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Marcos is qualified to be buried at the LNMB.
The high court said further that Marcos had not been dishonorably dicharged from active military service.
The SC argued that Marcos had not been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.
Martial law victims were enraged.
Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of SELDA, told Bulatlat she is angry and disappointed.
“Don’t they know Marcos was a convicted plunderer and human rights violator?” Enriquez, who was detained during martial law, said. Her sister, Liliosa Hilao, was one of the first arrested, tortured and killed after martial law was declared.
Enriquez is referring to the 1995 Federal Court of Hawaii ruling finding Marcos guilty of grave human-rights violations and awarding $2 billion in compensatory damages to the victims. SELDA is the organization that filed the said class suit in 1986 immediately after Marcos was ousted through people power uprising.
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said the high court did a tectonic shift as previous SC decisions pointed out Marcos’s crimes against the Filipino people.
Colmenares, one of the lawyers of the petitioners, was also among those who testified before the high court during the Aug. 31 oral arguments on the case. Colmenares, then a minor, was arrested and detained during martial law.
In her dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno said Duterte’s order violated local and international laws on obligations to do justice to human rights victims.
Sereno pointed out that both branches of government — legislative and judiciary — recognized Marcos as a dictator, plunderer and human rights violator and burying Marcos at the LNMB runs counter to the original intention of the LNMB.