• The Supreme Court has temporarily halted the plan to bury Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani
  • The ‘status quo ante order’ issued will be effective over the next 20 days
  • The SC ruling is in response to the five separate petitions opposing Marcos’ burial at the LNMB

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court has temporarily stopped any preparations for former president Ferdinand Marcos’ burial at the Libingan ng mg Bayani (LNMB) with a ‘status quo ante order’ effective over the next 20 days.

The High Court issued the decision on Tuesday, August 23, in response to the petition by several groups opposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to allow the remains of the late strongman to be laid at the Libingan.

SC spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te also said in a press conference that the oral arguments for the petitions filed has been reset from August 24 to August 31.

Five separate petitions were filed early this month by various martial law victims and human rights groups to block Marcos’ burial at the LNMB.

Petitioners include Bayan Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Neri Colmenares, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, Bonifacio Ilagan, Javier Colmenares, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chairperson Carolina Araullo, Samahan ng Ex-Detainess Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto, Carmencita Florentino, Rodolfo Del Rosario, Felix Dalisay, and Danilo Dela Fuente, among others.

The groups questioned the former dictator’s qualification to be buried alongside heroes at the LNMB, saying allowing such would be a mockery of justice considering the Marcos’ alleged record of abuses and injustices committed during the Martial Law regime.

“Apart from the human rights violations during the Marcos dictatorship, the fact remains undisputed that Marcos and his family, during his term, acquired billions worth of ill-gotten wealth, some of which are still subjects of pending litigations while much remain hidden,” one of the petitions read.

However, the Duterte administration insists that the President is only following what the law states – that Marcos should be laid to rest at the Libingan mainly in the account his being a former president, war veteran and a soldier.

“On the contrary, the interment of his remains at the Libingan was due to the fact that the late Ferdinand Marcos was a former President of the Republic, statesman and soldier, whose remains may be and are to be interred at the Libingan,” said Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Before the SC decision, Marcos interment at the Libingan has been temporarily set on September 18, although the government has yet to officially confirm the date.