Petitioners to SC: ‘Only the victims can forgive, reconcile with Marcos’

L-R Fr. Dionito Cabillas, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rodolfo del Rosario Bonifacio Ilagan, Danny dela Fuente , lawyer Ephraim Cortez and Felix Dalisay ask the high court to change its decision on the Marcos' burial issue. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / Bulatlat)
L-R Fr. Dionito Cabillas, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo, Rodolfo del Rosario Bonifacio Ilagan, Danny dela Fuente , lawyer Ephraim Cortez and Felix Dalisay ask the high court to change its decision on the Marcos’ burial issue. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / Bulatlat)

“Healing cannot be imposed by one man,” the petitioners, who were Martial Law victims, said. “It cannot be imposed by the Marcos family. Sadly, it cannot be imposed even by this Honorable Court.”

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Martial law victims filed a motion for reconsideration to the Supreme Court decision giving the go-signal for the hero’s burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

In their 55-page petition, the petitioners maintained that it is only the victims who can forgive and reconcile with Marcos and his Martial Law.

In its Nov. 8 decision, the high court affirmed that the President decided a question of policy based on his wisdom which is supposed to promote ”national healing and forgiveness.”

“Healing cannot be imposed by one man,” the petitioners, who were Martial Law victims, said. “It cannot be imposed by the Marcos family. Sadly, it cannot be imposed even by this Honorable Court.”

Not moot

Ephraim Cortez, one of the counsels of the petitioners and secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) maintained that the issues at hand are significant the high court could not render them moot.

“If you allow it to be mooted, you also allow the Marcoses to preempt the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, thus removing from them the power to resolve with finality the issues stated in the petition,” Cortez told Bulatlat in an interview shortly after the filing of the motion.

Last week, the petitioners asked the high court to hold the Marcoses and concerned government officials in contempt for the hasty, shady and tricky burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery. The act, the petitioners said, “degrades the Honorable Court and is contemptuous in itself.”

Under the rules, the petitioners have 15 days from receipt of the copy of the decision to file a motion for reconsideration.

“Such premeditated contumacious acts of the Respondents undermined the authority of the Court, emasculated its powers, attempted to pre-empt its judgment, and mocked well-entrenched rules of procedure in violation of due process and of public interest and ultimately justice,” the petitioners said in their motion last week.

Violation of the Constitution

The petitioners argued that President Duterte and the actions of other respondents violated the Constitution, the laws, jurisprudence and public policy.

The petitioners pointed out, “The 1987 Constitution is the embodiment of the Filipino People’s aspiration for freedom, democracy and justice – the very aspirations that Marcos the Dictator deprived us during his dictatorial regime.”

The petitioners reiterated that it has been legally and judicially recognized that Marcos is a human rights violator, and the government has the duty to ensure that he should have been prosecuted.

Cortez added that the internment of Marcos at the LNMB violated the rights of human rights victims, who were recognised by Republic Act10368 or the Reparation and Recognition of Victims of Human Rights Violations Act. Marcos’ burial, they said, violated the petitioners’ right against re- traumatization. “They have been scarred for life, many still suffer from the effects of the torture and the atrocities they experienced under their military/police captors,” the petition stated.

The petitioners noted that nobody has yet been prosecuted or convicted for human rights violations, and the principal author and moving hand of these atrocities, Marcos the Dictator himself was able to escape criminal prosecution. “Now, the petitioners, and other HRVVs, are again being made to suffer as they helplessly watch their tormentor being buried and incredibly given military honors,” the petition read.

Cortez said that the AFP regulations cited by the Supreme Court could not be overtaken by the requirements stated by law and by public policy.

Duterte accountable

Former Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo held President Duterte accountable for the burial of Marcos at the LNMB. Ocampo dismissed Duterte’s argument that the issue is merely legal.

“He did not exercise the spirit of his pledge to the Filipino people to uphold national interest,” Ocampo told the media. Ocampo said that while Duterte blamed Cory Aquino, Noynoy Aquino and all the other presidents for not revising the AFP regulations, he himself did not exercise scuh power.

Ocampo said the high court and Duterte should recognize the decision made by the Filipino people in February 1986. “We rejected that dictator. We rejected that plunderer. That should have been a factor in the Supreme Court decision and not the regulation which the AFP— under the direct control of the executive—repeatedly revised.”

Asked what to do if the high court junks their motion, Bonifacio Ilagan of the Campaign Against the Return of Marcoses in Malacanang (Carmma) said they would continue staging protest actions. ()

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