Millenials file petition to declare Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani unconstitutional

OFTENLY blamed for the return of the Marcoses into power, members of the youth collectively referred to as ‘millenials’ filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Supreme Court Monday to prohibit the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).

The petition asked the High Court to declare the Memorandum issued by the Secretary of the Department National Defense last August 7 and the interment of the deposed dictator at the LNMB as ultra vires for being without legal basis and unconstitutional.

Republic Act 289 stipulates that the power and authority to allow Marcos Sr. to be buried can only emanate from the Board of National Pantheon, of which Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is not included.

They claim that that Secretary Lorenzana may have abused his authority and must be ordered by the Supreme Court to cease from implementing his own memorandum.

The petitioners, Zaira Baniaga, John Arvin Buenaagua, Joanne Lim and Juan Antonio Magalang, all students of the University of the Philippines were accompanied by their counsel, Atty. Jesus Falcis III.

They also argued that the deposed dictator is disqualified from being buried at the 103-hectare Heroes’ Cemetery for he falls under the category of those ‘dishonorably separated or discharged from the service’ and was witnessed by the whole world on February 25, 1986 and that a LNMB burial for Marcos Sr. would place him in the same category as other Presidents who are already buried in the LNMB – Presidents Elpidio Quirino, Carlos Garcia, and Diosdado Macapagal, all of which were not ousted from office or found to be guilty of atrocities and ill-gotten wealth.

Petitioners claim that to allow Marcos sr., an internationally recognized tyrant and plunderer to lie beside certified heroes shall create that irreconcilable repugnancy with the declaration of State policy under R.A. No. 10368 or the Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013.

“We cannot with a clear conscience accept that Marcos the tyrant lie beside the nation’s genuine freedom fighters. Malacanang cannot insist its will when laws have been enacted recognizing the human rights violations during the Marcos regime. The government must be consistent,” declared Baniaga.

Meanwhile Lim, also a petitioner against the curfew ordinances of the cities of Manila, Quezon and Navotas said, “May this petition symbolize our eternal gratefulness to the freedom fighters of the previous generation by their unspeakable sacrifices and collective struggle we millenials enjoy what was denied of them in their youth”.

They also called out on his fellow ‘millenials’ to “step up and not content themselves with social media rants”.

“For us long as civil liberties and human rights are being threatened or being trampled upon, the idealistic youth must lend its intellect, its talent and time in order to achieve social justice with social progress, Lim concluded.