LAWMAKERS on Monday urged critics of the Supreme Court ruling allowing the burial of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City to respect the decision to finally put the issue to rest.
Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta party-list Rep. Jericho Jonas Nograles and Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said the public should submit to the wisdom of SC, saying the institution is the country’s last bulwark of democracy.
“We hope the SC ruling will bridge togetherness and unity in the country. Being the last bulwark of democracy, we should be committed to respect our justices’ decision,” Romualdez said.
Nograles, at a news conference, also made as similar appeal.
“I was raised by my father who is a topnotch lawyer, I will not question the Supreme Court ruling. The SC has decided and we have to respect that,” Nograles, son of bar topnotcher and former Speaker Prospero Nograles, said.
Villafuerte also urged all sectors of society to respect the SC decision, describing the ruling as a catalyst for the Duterte administration’s efforts to promote peace and national reconciliation.
“The high court, in exercising its judicial independence, had chosen to ensure the faithful execution of laws rather than encroach on political territory by ruling that President Duterte did not commit any grave abuse of discretion in ordering the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, as this was done as part of the Chief Executive’s mandate as spelled out in Article VII, Section 17 of the Constitution,” Villafuerte said.
For his part, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe, president of the Party List Coalition, said the Marcos family had already won the battle even if they decide not to bury the former President at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“I therefore urge the Marcoses to consider not burying former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Why? They have proven their point, President Duterte has spoken that he has no objection to the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because the law allows it. Even the SC has spoken that Marcos [is legally qualified] to be burried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The Marcos can take the high moral ground if they do that,” Batocabe said.
Villafuerte said a constitutional provision states that: “The President shall have control of all the executive departments, bureaus, and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be faithfully executed.”
“The President’s order on the Marcos burial shows that Filipinos can count on him to strictly adhere to the Constitution and the country’s laws, however, controversial or unpopular such directives may be,” Villafuerte said.
The Supreme Court, Villafuerte said, had correctly pointed out that the President is not bound by the agreement between then President Ramos and the Marcos family to have the Marcos remains interred in Batac, Ilocos Norte.
Villafuerte also noted that the late President Marcos couldn’t be barred from being buried at the Libingan as he has not been convicted of any crimes involving moral turpitude.