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SC sets oral arguments on petition vs Marcos burial

Oral arguments are slated on August 24 as a response to the Martial law victims' petition to stop the hero's burial for the late President Ferdinand Marcos. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that it will conduct oral arguments next week on the petition to block former President Ferdinand Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

SC said the oral arguments will be held at the SC en banc session hall at 9 a.m. on August 24, Wednesday.

Prior to the oral arguments, the high tribunal ordered the respondents of the  petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Application for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction filed by activists and Martial Law victims to comment on the plea within five days.

The respondents named in the petition were Rear Admiral Ernesto Enriquez of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and heirs of Marcos represented by his spouse, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos

“The court directed respondents to comment on the petition and application for temporary restraining order (TRO) within a non-extendible period of five days from today with the comments to be received by the court not later than 10 o’clock in the morning of Monday, Aug. 22, 2016,” Te said in a press briefing.

The respondents were also asked to appear before the court for a preliminary conference. The conference, which is meant to narrow the scope of the arguments, will be held at the SC Court Division at 2:00 p.m. of August 22, Monday.

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On Monday, Martial Law victims led by former political detainees and activist leaders such as former Bayan Muna party-list Reps. Neri Colmenares, Satur Ocampo and Bonifacio Ilagan filed a petition before the SC seeking for a TRO against Marcos’s hero’s burial. The petitioners said Department of National Defense, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Marcoses  “ committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in ordering and allowing the burial of the remains of Marcos at the national hero’s cemetery.”

Among the petitioners were Trinidad Herrera Repuno,  National Artist Prof. Bienvenido Lumbera, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) represented by Carol Araullo and Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (Selda) represented by Dionito Cabillas, Carmencita Florentino, Rodolfo del Rosario, Felix Dalisay and Danilo dela Fuente. 

RELATED: Martial Law victims ask SC to halt Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

Those opposed to Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani say doing so is against the law and will disregard the victims of human rights abuses during martial law as well as the plunder that happened under Marcos. President Rodrigo Duterte insists the move, which he says will bring national unity, is legal because Marcos is a former soldier and former president and is therefore entitled to be buried there.

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