By Raïssa Robles
I’m now listening to the oral arguments on whether or not the late Ferdinand Marcos should be given a hero’s burial.
You can also listen to the audio of the oral arguments by clicking on this link.
I will be posting on this thread.
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Justice Jose Perez poses an intriguing question: How can the implementation of an election promise by President Duterte be considered “grave abuse of discretion” when he is merely implementing an election promise to bury Marcos at Libingan?
Considering that Duterte won, what is the effect of that? Is that not a decision by the sovereign people themselves?, Perez asks.
Colmenares’ reply is classic Colmenares. He points out that Duterte also made other promises, such as shutting down Congress if it disagreed with him.
Justice Perez quickly cuts him off and tells Colmenares to stick to the issue at hand.
Well, Perez asked and Colmenares answered.
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court are also a battle of wits.
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Now a lady justice (Teresita De Castro) asks Colmenares – are you leaving it up to the court to decide who is a bayani?
That reminds me of another Supreme Court case, which somehow touches on the issue of being bayani or hero. This is the case where the Supreme Court actually scored the Catholic Church for trying to stop schools from educating children about the novels of Jose Rizal.
Colmenares told the lady justice that “the internment of one scoundrel in the Libingan does not justify to add just one more scoundrel.”
Justice De Castro said she cannot connect – “it would seem from the history (of Libingan), unless I am convinced otherwise that the Libingan ng mga Bayani is not really for heroes.” She told Colmenares to connect PD 289 to the congressional law .
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Marcos must be laughing at what’s happening. The Supreme Court is trying to dissect what exactly the Libingan ng mga Bayani is for. As his former Solicitor General (now prominent lawyer of the last cause) Estelito Mendoza told University of the Philippines law students when there was a gap in the law or an unfavorable implication in the law, they just made up a new law to fill that gap or remove that implication.
Actually, one implication – if the Supreme Court says there is no legal obstruction to bury Marcos in Libingan – is the affirmation of President Duterte’s power to decide by himself such a question. Never mind all the objections.
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Justice Carpio asks Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales whether she was referring to the criminal aspect of the the Swiss bank cases.
Carpio-Morales said yes.
The truth is, Ferdinand Marcos was never convicted criminally in New York or Manila was because he was too ill to be arraigned and he died in Hawaii.
Here is an excerpt from our book Marcos Martial Law: Never Again on Marcos’ dying moments:
On November 18, 1988, Marcos was forced to go to the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Honolulu, Hawaii to be “photographed and fingerprinted like a common thief, in a session that lasted three hours, called off only because of his deteriorating physical condition,” according to his
military aide Colonel Arturo Aruiza. The experience was so stressful that “his eyes squinted; his facial muscles contorted. He began to have facial spasms,” Aruiza said.
Marcos asked to go to the bathroom where “he turned cold and clammy, and suffered from vertigo”. They only learned later that he had a heart attack. Aruiza asked the FBI “to give the job of fingerprinting Marcos to someone with a gentle touch because the President’s hands were hurting and his cuticles were open wounds”.
Marcos never recovered physically from that humiliation and was always in pain, and in and out of the hospital.
Close to midnight of September 27, 1989, Marcos’ son Bongbong arrived at his bedside in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Marcos opened his eyes for the last time and tried to speak to him. His heartbeat spiked to 200 then fell. The nurses scrambled and he was given CPR. “By then,” Aruiza said, “blood was flowing copiously
from the President’s mouth. Three successive shocks were applied.
The pacemaker was activated, but there was no more heartbeat.”
He was 72.
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Justice Carpio is now grilling Congressman Neri Colmenares.
Carpio asks Colmenares about the AFP regulations and notes that the phrase “those who were dishonorably discharged” and this does not refer just to military service.
Carpio notes that Marcos will not be qualified because he was dishonorably discharged as President and Commander-in-Chief. Does Colmenares agree?
Colmenares says yes.
Carpio then asks if the incumbent President Duterte can validly change all these.
Colmenares says no.
Justice Carpio asks if public money will now be used to bury Marcos. He adds that public purpose means the use for the general good. So if the president now amends the regulations – if dishonorably discharged – “Marcos was dishonorably separated by the people in 1986, that cannot be done because it is against the Constitution because you are using public property for private purpose.”
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I did not recognize the voice of Atty Barry Gutierrez. The man speaking sounds very authoritative.
He does not sound like the usual Barry Gutierrez.
I met Barry when he was still in short pants, literally. HIs father, Ibarra, was once an editor in Business Day newspaper where I worked for.
Barry told the court that burying Marcos “violates the principle (of only honoring heroes in national shrines) because now he will be deemed somebody worthy of emulation….he will be accorded full military honors.”
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Congressman Edcel Lagman has just been asked about Presidential Decree No. 105 – a law which Marcos wrote using his dictatorial powers.
Here is the Marcos decree below:
Presidential Decree No. 105, s. 1973
Signed on January 24, 1973
PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 105
DECLARING NATIONAL SHRINES AS SACRED (HALLOWED) PLACES AND PROHIBITING DESECRATION THEREOF
WHEREAS, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines has declared certain places in the country as National Shrines because they were the sites of the birth, exile, imprisonment, detention or death of great and eminent leaders of the nation.
WHEREAS, among these National Shrines are the birthplace of Dr. Jose Rizal in Calamba, Laguna, Talisay, Dapitan City, where the hero was exiled for four years, Fort Santiago, Manila, where he was imprisoned in 1896 prior to his execution; Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas where Apolinario Mabini was born, Pandacan, Manila, where Mabini’s house in which he died, is located, and Aguinaldo Mansion in Kawit, Cavite, where General Emilio Aguinaldo, first President of the Philippines, was born, and where Philippine Independence was solemnly proclaimed on June 12, 1898, Batan, Aklan, where the “Code of Kalantiyaw” was promulgated in 1433, etc.
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the Government to hold and keep said National Shrines as sacred and hallowed place.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972, and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972, do hereby declare said National Shrines and others which may be proclaimed in the future as National Shrines to be hallowed places and the desecration of the same in the form of disturbing their peace and serenity by digging, excavating, defacing, causing unnecessary noise and committing unbecoming acts within the premises of said National Shrines, is hereby strictly prohibited.
Any person who shall violate this Decree shall upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten (10) years or a fine not less than ten thousand pesos (P10,000) or both fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court or tribunal concerned.
This Decree is hereby made part of the law of the land and shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 24th day of January, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-three.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Source: Malacañang Records Office
Things happen for a reason/s.
Megalomaniac Duterte forcing the issue to have Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani will have boomerang effect on him and the Marcoses. As the case was brought before the Supreme Court, stories of torture will be refreshed and will serve as great reminders to those who lived those times and will provide enlightening lessons to young ones who don’t have any clue on what it was to live under a dictator.
It is something to read snippets of Martial rule but it is totally impactful if we have faces, living individuals sharing their harrowing experiences during those times. I feel badly for these victims who have to relieve those difficult times but I can only hope that going through them again will serve as a therapeutic process for them. May they find comfort with the idea that re-living and telling those painful times will provide valuable lessons and reminders that are/will be useful during our present time.
Directly from the mouths of the victims, people can draw comparisons on how Marcos and Duterte’s dictatorial rule are so similar. I’d like to remain optimistic that the SC interpellations and eventual ruling will educate our fellow Filipinos on th proper rule of law and will have some resolve not to let martial rule or any semblance of it, reign in our country again.
For the Marcoses, well, this is another opportunity to shame them again. (Although it may be Imelda’s wish to have Bong2 regain Malacanang palace, there is a good chance that IMee will go for it. Thus, this SC hearing gives a refresher lesson that works against them.) This trial should seal their fate out of the palace.
Me thinks that this is a useful though painful exercise and an opportunity for the Supreme Court to show their independence from the claws of Duterte.
Most of all, fast forward, Bato and Duterte will see what awaits them. If they think they are fooling the Filipino people through propaganda, etc., at the end of the day, they fool no one but themselves.
Thank you Raissa.
Candy Gourlay says
You’re welcome, Candy :)
chit navarro says
Off-Topic: I was watching Amanpour early this morning (our time) and Christian interviewed Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano and Senator Leila de Lima on the war on drugs program of the President. One can just see the wide grin on APC’s face while waiting for Christian’s first question and could not help himself with his “ma’am”s for the CNN bigwig. Can’t understand how he can compare the killings during the 15-year terms of Pres. GMA and Pres. PNoy to the 2-month reigh of Pres. Duterte. When asked what Pres. Duterte will say to Pres. Obama when hey meet at the G20 meeting next week, he was honest to say “Nobody can predict what the President will say but….let me tell you that what’s going on in the Philippines now is not the normal norm ”
Sen. de Lima was more forthright and honest, especially when she said that the truth is on her side.
Indeed, the Philippines is top news
chit navarro says
I love the way Senio Justice Carpio phrases his questions – He gives all the information and the reasons why it is against the law to have him buried in the LNMB then he asks if you agree with him or not.
It takes an intelligent lawyer to simply answer Yes or No.
Johnny Lin says
My comments still on moderation that’s why I stopped posting from different sites. I thought by being back in Phl your Akismet will restructure automatically.
I’m so sorry, Johnny.
I updated WordPress and everything went on moderation.
by the way, I tried phoning you.
I have the books you bought from Popular Book Store.
thank you very much. What do you want me to do with them?
Johnny Lin says
Donate the books to public high schools of your choice!
I left after I purchased the books. just got back. you can text me.
same mobile number?
Johnny Lin says
drill down says
The late strongman Ferdinand Marcos does not deserve a hero’s burial because he was “dishonorably discharged” by the people in 1986, Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said Wednesday.
“But if the incumbent President says that ‘[Marcos] can still be buried there upon my instruction,’ Carpio insisted, that that cannot be done because as it is against the Constitution because you are using public funds and property for a private purpose.
high standards on judging public officials, especially the highest ranking ones for they wield so much power, that’s how it should be.
Johnny Lin says
Eye for an Eye
Marcos burial at LNB should commence the downfall of Duterte
“Kill the drug dealers and pushers” was his campaign slogan.
To all drug addicts and pushers. Get your revenge on Duterte! Hi hi hi!
“Vandalize daily the Marcos Tomb at LNB”
Become useful for the general population. Instead of damaging or stealing private properties Destroy the symbol of tyranny of Duterte and the Supreme Court.
Vandalize Marcos Tomb!
He he he!
not easy to vandalize the goddamn tomb, johnny lin. I heard it will have uniformed guards taking turns guarding 24/7 gaya ng statue in dr jose rizal sa luneta, ganyan ka gwardyado kuno. dyos ko, si digong talaga walang hanggan ang paggasto sa hindi niya pera upang mapagbigyan lang si imelda.
crypt ni makoy sa vigan being transfered yata to libingan, only this time in public view but still with all the trappings, maybe even grander. imelda might as well buy libingan, the place is being made into mini-vigan.
Jeremy Lin says
Use you’re head!
Bob Couttie says
Funny that the Code of Kalantiaw gets a namecheck – he was a fictional hero, too.
no to maros burial..