THE Supreme Court has deferred action on the pleadings of Martial Law victims seeking to cite the Marcos family, the military leadership and the Duterte administration in contempt of court for proceeding with the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery when its decision allowing it had not yet attained finality.
High court spokesman Theodore Te said the magistrates on Tuesday deliberated on the petitions to exhume Marcos’ reported remains that were interred at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18.
But Te said the justices decided to reset their deliberations on the pleadings to November 29.
He did not give the reason for the deferment but an insider said the magistrate in charge of the case, Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, was on wellness leave on Tuesday.
Last Monday, the group of petitioners led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman asked the high court to order the government to exhume Marcos’ remains as a penalty for the “premature, void and irregular” interment carried out by the Marcos family, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of National Defense before they could even file their appeal on the high court’s ruling allowing the burial.
Lagman’s group also urged the high court to order the examination of the remains exhumed from the tomb in order to determine with certainty that the “mortal remains” of Marcos buried at the LNMB was not any other artifact or a wax replica of him.
Another group of petitioners led by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Saturnino Ocampo also filed a petition seeking to cite the Marcos heirs and government officials in contempt of court for proceeding with the burial even if the high court ruling had not yet become final.
It was the second time the high court deferred action on the petitioners’ pleadings.
When the high court handed down its ruling allowing the burial, Lagman and Ocampo filed urgent motions seeking to temporarily suspend the burial until the decision became final.
They asked the high court to re-issue the status quo ante order, which was lifted in the high court decision, in order not to render moot the motion for reconsideration of the court decision that they intended to file.
In the high court’s session on November 15, the justices also decided to reset the deliberations on the motions due to the absence of four justices.
With lack of action from the high court, Marcos’ burial proceeded on November 18.