SEN. LEILA de Lima said on Monday she was considering joining a petition, or filing her own, in the Supreme Court to block the burial next month of dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani.
De Lima said on Monday that given that the option of barring the burial through legislative means would not only be untimely but also “tedious,” resorting to the high court may be the “best option.”
She added that if there would be no corresponding resolution from the House of Representatives, any legislative effort against the burial would be “futile.”
She noted that some groups, including former martial law detainees, had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to stop the burial.
“I’m still mulling over whether I’m going to have my own separate petition or together with some like-minded senators, like Sen. Risa [Hontiveros], or just a copetitioner in a petition to be filed by other groups,” she told the Inquirer in a roundtable interview.
De Lima said Republic Act No. 10368, or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013, could be cited as a justification.
“That can be used by analogy. That is a recognition of the dictator’s sins. That is why there’s relief, which is monetary compensation,” she said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ regulation enumerating those allowed to be buried at Libingan also “does not mandate or compel the state to accept any and all those belonging to the enumeration,” she said.
“If the law really mandates it, we may have a problem convincing the Supreme Court. But if it only enumerates who are allowed, then it means not all [can be buried there],” she said.
Asked what if President Duterte, a friend of the Marcos family, invoked his presidential discretion on the matter, De Lima said his decision “must be cognizant of historical facts and also ethical and moral grounds.”
De Lima was among the more than a thousand people who showed up at the Lapu-Lapu monument on Sunday to protest the burial.
She noted that the first protest action on the issue was a “very good and meaningful start” of what may be a series of actions against it.
She said that at least seven of the 24 senators had expressed their opposition to giving the dictator a hero’s burial.
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