MANILA, Philippines – A former lawmaker on Tuesday said that they may file a motion for reconsideration in a bid to overturn the Supreme Court’s favourable decision on the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“This is a tectonic shift sa Supreme Court jurisprudence, lalo na’t mahaba at marami nang desisyon ang Korte Suprema na si Marcos ay human rights violator, si Marcos ay diktador, si Marcos ay plunderer,” said former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, one of the petitioners against granting a hero’s burial to Marcos.
Voting 9-5 the 15 Supreme Court justices dismissed the consolidated petitions seeking to stop the burial of Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery, which is backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Nakakapagtaka at nakakagalit na biglang nag-turn around ang Korte Suprema, pero we will seek a motion for reconsideration. We will study that and consider a motion for reconsideration hoping na magbago pa ang desisyon ng Korte Suprema lalo na’t napakalakas naman ng aming kaso,” Colmenares said.
Colmenares added that even though the SC has already issued a decision that the fight is far from over.
“Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Dapat ituloy pa ito, may motion for reconsideration pa naman. Puwede pa namang makumbinsi si Pangulong Duterte na magbago ang isip. We will continue with the protest movement,” he said.
Colmenares has been a staunch supporter against the burial of the erstwhile president at the heroes’ cemetery, having been a political prisoner himself during the Marcos regime.
“We hope that the administration will not hasten the interment of President Marcos and will allow the due process and the rights of the victims to a motion for reconsideration to be resolved with finality before any action is taken,” Colmenares said.
He said that they may file the motion for reconsideration within 15 days.
“Ang MR naman kasi ay ma-file namin ‘yan soon, before 15 days, we will try to file … Anyway, matagal naman nang nakalibing si President Marcos sa Batac, Ilocos Norte. What is one more month of waiting?” Colmenares said.
The SC decision also did not sit well with several incumbent lawmakers.
“We are overly dismayed as we strongly disagree with the SC decision on the Marcos burial,” said Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, for his part, vowed to continue the advocacy against the “human rights abuses, corruption and authoritarian rule that defined Marcos’ Martial Law.
“Despite the SC’s decision we must continue to explain to Filipinos, especially the young, why we shouldn’t allow the loss of freedom to happen again,” he said.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo also vowed to continue their protests against the SC’s decision and will join Colmenares in filing the MR with the SC.
“The body may be buried, but not the truth. We will not allow Marcos to revise history. We will not forget the sacrifices of those who resisted and fought for the freedoms we have today,” Villarin said.
“Pero kahit ilang beses pang ilibing si Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani ay hindi ito magiging bayani. Hindi kayang burahin ng ilang pahinang desisyon ang madilim na ala-ala ng marahas na diktaturia nuong kapanahunan ni FM,” Quimbo said.
– Criselda David is the Filipino Migrant News Manila correspondent.