Marcos loyalists and critics face off outside SC as hearings on Libingan burial underway

  • Pro- and anti-Marcos groups faced off outside Supreme Court amid start of hearing
  • The groups engaged in a shouting match, were fortunately cordoned off by the police
  • Justices split so far on plan to have late strongman’s remains transferred to LNBM

MANILA, Philippines – The first day of the Supreme Court hearing on the plan to have former president Ferdinand Marcos’s remains transferred to the Libingan ng mga Bayani was characterized by tumult as supporters and critics engaged in a shouting match outside the high tribunal.

An estimated 500 Marcos loyalists calling for the late strongman’s burial at the LNMB clashed with around 100 members belonging to groups opposed to the plan.

Chants of Marcos being a hero were met with anti-Martial Law songs and rebuttals. However, no physical altercation took place as the police managed to mediate between the two sides.

Justice Split Too

Turns out that SC justices appear to be split between the issue, too; with one saying Marcos does not deserve to be buried at the LNMB and two others saying there was no agency or system of evaluation that could determine whether Marcos was unqualified.

“Marcos cannot be buried [at LNMB],” GMA News quoted Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as telling burial opponent Neri Colmenares during interpellation.

Carpio said Marcos’ removal through the 1986 People Power Revolution meant he was dishonorably discharged by the people whose sovereignty is higher than that of any military or civilian tribunal.

Associate Justice Teresita de Castro, on the other hand, said the core issue stems from the name of the LNMB itself and the non-existence of an agency or system of evaluation that would determine who is a hero or not.

“A lot of controversy arises from the term ‘Libingan ng mga Bayani’ when actually not all buried there are heroes,” she said. “Who decides who is a hero?”

Associate Justice Jose Perez also raised the question of whether Marcos’s burial was a political issue which was beyond the jurisdiction of the high tribunal, to which Colmenares responded that even election promises can be considered justiciable issues especially when they involve a substantial national question.