Marcos' burial a campaign promise, says solgen
Kristian Javier ( - September 7, 2016 - 4:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court resumed on Wednesday the oral arguments on the petitions filed against the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Solicitor General Jose Calida said President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to honor the former soldier by having him buried at the Heroes' Cemetery is a campaign promise.

"As the father of this nation, President Duterte desires to begin the long overdue healing of our nation and to exorcize the ghost of enmity and bitterness that prevent us from moving forward," Calida before magistrates of the high court.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno responded by noting that campaign promises are political decisions do not necessarily fulfill a public purpose.

The plan to bury Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery sparked protests from human rights advocates and victims of martial law during Marcos' regime. Supporters and protestors flocked outside the Supreme Court in Manila as the hearing started.

Critics said Marcos should not be granted space at the cemetery due to human rights abuses, murders and plunder during his administration.

Supporters, meanwhile, remembered the accomplishments of Marcos as both president and soldier.

"The interment of Marcos in the libingan is to promote national healing." Calida added.

Hyacinthe Rafael-Antonio, defending Duterte's plan, said Marcos' eligibility is clear based on a document prescribing those who could be interred at the Libingan.

"The [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Regulation G161375 categorically prescribes that presidents of the Philippines and retired and active military personnel of the AFP be allocated burial plots at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," Antonio said.

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