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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the late strongman President

Ferdinand Marcos may be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Voting 9-5, Supreme Court spokesperson Ted Te said the high court dismissed all the petitions challenging
Marcos' burial at the heroes' cemetery based on five substantive grounds:

1. There was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of President Rodrigo Duterte in ordering the burial of
Marcos at LNMB because it was done in the exercise of his mandate. There is also no law that prohibits
the burial of Marcos' remains at the LNMB.

2. President Duterte has the power to reserve for public use and for specific public purposes, any of the
lands under public domain.

3. Marcos' remains, under regulations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, can be interred at LNMB
because he was a former president, commander-in-chief, soldier, medal of valor awardee, and legislator.

4. The Supreme Court disagreed Marcos was "dishonorably discharged," saying the disqualification only
pertains to the military

5. Marcos cannot be disqualified from burial at LNMB because he was not convicted of crimes involving
moral turpitude.

Associate Justices Arturo Brion and Lucas Bersamin both voted in favor of the Marcos burial. CNN Philippines
shows you their full concurring opinions and highlights their major points.

Bersamin: Marcos 'entitled' to be buried at LNMB


For Justice Bersamin, Duterte did not abuse his presidential power in ordering Marcos' burial at the Libingan ng
mga Bayani because the late strongman is qualified under the law.

"President Marcos - being a former President of the Philippines, a Medal of Valor awardee, a veteran of World
War II, a former Senate and Senate President, and a former Congressman - is one of those who remain entitled
to be interred in the LNMB under the terms of (Armed Forces of the Philippines) AFP Regulations G 161-375,"
he said.

Bersamin also reiterated that the AFP's grounds for disqualification for burial at the heroes' cemetery
dishonorable discharge from military service and conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude do not
apply to Marcos.

"The contention that he had been ousted from the Presidency by the 1986 People Power revolution was not the
same as being dishonorably discharged because the discharge must be from military service," he said.

The main decision noted that although Marcos was ordered by a Swiss and a Hawaiian court to compensate
Martial Law victims, these were civil cases, which are not covered under convictions of moral turpitude.

Brion: Supreme Court not the right body

Meanwhile, Justice Brion highlighted a more fundamental issue in his opinion: Does the Supreme Court have
the power to review and act upon Duterte's order?

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"I find that these petitions failed to establish the necessity of the Court's direct exercise of its power of judicial
review, as their cited legal bases and arguments largely involve violations of the law or its misapplication," he
said.

Brion explained that the Supreme Court may only decide on whether an act of government is legal based on the
Constitution, not based on ordinary laws. He said the petitioners failed to point out which provision of the
Constitution Marcos' burial would violate.

"The Court's direct authority to exercise its expanded jurisdiction is limited to the determination of the
constitutionality of a governmental act," he said. "Grave abuse of discretion arising from mere violations of
statutes cannot, as a rule, be the subject of the Court's direct exercise of its expanded jurisdiction."

Brion also said the petitioners should have gone through administrative bodies or the lower courts before filing
for a temporary restraining order with the Supreme Court.

The main decision said the petitioners could have appealed to the President, the Secretary of National Defense
or a Regional Trial Court first.

"For these statutory violations, recourse may be made before the courts through an appeal of the administrative
body's ruling, or by filing for a petition for declaratory relief before the lower court with jurisdiction over the
matter," he said.

Brion: Burial does not erase Martial Law abuses

In addition, Brion said burying Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani does not excuse the abuses during the
Martial Law era.

"The burial order does not have the effect of rewriting jurisprudence and excusing the ills of the Marcos
administration," he said. "Neither does it amend Republic Act No. 10368 ("Human Rights Victims Reparation
and Recognition Act of 2013."

R.A. 10368 established a Human Rights Victims Claims Board tasked to recognize victims of human-rights
violations and provide them with compensation funded by the 10 billion in Marcos ill-gotten wealth awarded
by a Swiss court in 1997.

Finally, Brion explained that although he is "not insensitive" to the plight of victims of Martial Law, the
Supreme Court is tasked with upholding the law, even though its decision may be unpopular.

"The Court, of course, is not blind to history but is not a judge of history," he said. "Ultimately, we recognize
that vowing to the raucous crowd may temporarily signify harmony, but we do so at the expense of disregarding
Executive policy and weakening the political branches, and indeed, the very institution of government itself."

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Bersamin Concurring: GR 225973 Ocampo vs Enriquez Marcos Burial, 2016 (Political)
G.R. No. 225973 - SATURN/NOC. OCAMPO, ET AL. v. REAR ADMIRAL ERNESTO C. ENRIQUEZ,
ET AL.;
G.R. No. 225984 - REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, ET AL. v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR C.
MEDIALDEA, ET AL.;
G.R. No. 226097 - LORETTA ANN PARGAS-ROSALES, ET AL. v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
SALVADOR C. MEDIALDEA, ET AL.;
G.R. No. 226116 - HEHERSON T. ALVAREZ, ET AL. v. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SALVADOR C.
MEDIALDEA, ET AL.;
G.R. No. 226117 - ZAIRA PATRICIA B. BANIAGA, ET AL. v. SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE
DELFIN N. LORENZANA, ET AL.;
G.R. No. 226120 -ALGAMAR A. LAT/PH, ET AL. v. SECRETARY DELFIN N. LORENZANA, sued in
his capacity as SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, ET AL.
Promulgated: November 8, 2016
x----------------------------------------------------------x

CONCURRING OPINION

BERSAMIN, J.:

These consolidated special civil actions (variously seeking the writs of certiorari, mandamus and
prohibition) [1] concern the question of whether or not the Chief Executive, in verbally authorizing the
interment of the remains of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB),
gravely abused his discretion.

I CONCUR with the MAIN OPINION so eruditely penned for the Majority by Justice Diosdado M. Peralta. I
hereby only express my reasons for voting to dismiss the petitions, and thus to allow the interment to proceed.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was sworn to office and assumed the Presidency at noontime of June 30, 2016.
In his campaign for the Presidency, he had promised, among others, that if elected he would authorize the
interment of the remains of the late President Marcos in the LNMB. To deliver on this promise, he verbally
directed Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense (DND) on July 11, 2016 to
prepare the groundwork for the interment. Secretary Lorenzana thus issued on August 7, 2016 the assailed
Memorandum directing General Ricardo R. Visaya, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(APP), to "kindly undertake the necessary planning and preparations to facilitate the coordination of all
agencies concerned specially the provisions for ceremonial and security requirements" for the interment, and to
"[ c ]oordinate closely with the Marcos family regarding the date of interment and the transport of the late
former President's remains from Ilocos Norte to the LNMB." In sum, General Visaya commanded Deputy Chief
of Staff of the APP Rear Admiral Ernesto C. Enriquez to implement the Memorandum, and this Rear Admiral
Enriquez did by transmitting on August 9, 2016 his own directive to the Commanding General of the Philippine
Army to proceed with the interment and to provide "all necessary military honors accorded for a President."

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These events expectedly invited protests from various sectors. The petitioners herein then initiated these
consolidated special civil actions in this Court to advance a common cause - to prevent the interment of the
remains of President Marcos in LNMB because of the many human rights violations committed during his long
regime that included the period when he placed the whole country under Martial Law. They mainly insisted that
interring the remains of President Marcos in the LNMB would desecrate the shrine that was intended only for
heroes.

The following should explain my vote.

First of all, the foregoing antecedents render it quite evident to me that the interment of the remains of President
Marcos in the LMNB is a matter that exclusively pertains to the discretion of President Duterte as the Chief
Executive. The character of the LMNB as the resting place for the war dead and other military personnel under
the care and control of the APP has placed the LMNB under the control of the President. Plainly enough, the
President thereby exercised such control through the APP Chief of Staff.

In the context of the LNMB being a military facility, the AFP has issued AFP Regulations G 161-375 to
prescribe guidelines that enumerate the persons whose remains may be interred therein, to wit:

a. Medal of Valor Awardees


b. Presidents or Commander-in-Chief, AFP
c. Secretaries of National Defense
d. Chiefs of Staff, AFP
e. Generals/Flag Officers of the AFP
f. Active and retired military personnel of the AFP to include active draftees and trainees who died in the line
of duty, active reservists and CAFGU Active Auxillary (CAA) who died in combat operations or combat related
activities.
g. Former members of the AFP who laterally entered or joined the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the
Philippine National Police (PNP).
h. Veterans of Philippine Revolution of 1890, WWI, WWII, and recognized guerillas.
i. Government Dignitaries, Statesmen, National Artists and other deceased persons whose interment or
reinternment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense.
J. Former Presidents, Secretaries of Defense, Dignitaries, Statesmen, National Artists, widows of Former
Presidents, Secretaries of National Defense and Chief of Staff are authorized to be interred at the LNMB.

Based on the foregoing, the exercise by President Duterte of his discretion upon a matter under his control like
the interment of the remains of President Marcos in the LNMB is beyond review by the Court. He has not
thereby transgressed any legal boundaries. President Marcos - being a former President of the Philippines, a
Medal of Valor awardee, a veteran of World War II, a former Senator and Senate President, and a former
Congressman - is one of those whose remains are entitled to be interred in the LNMB under the terms of AFP
Regulations G 161-375. President Duterte was far from whimsical or arbitrary in his exercise of discretion. I
believe that interment of any remains in the LNMB is a political question within the exclusive domain of the
Chief Executive. The Court must defer to his wisdom and must respect his exercise of discretion. In other
words, his directive to Secretary Lorenzana is unassailable.

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I must observe that the factual milieu in these cases is different from that in the case in which the Court
addressed and decided the question of whether or not the President of the Philippines had validly acted in
prohibiting the return of the family of President Marcos to the country. In the latter case, the Court ruled that
when political questions were involved, the Constitution limited the determination to whether or not grave
abuse ofdiscretion amounting lack or excess of jurisdiction was committed by the respondent public
official. [2] The foremost consideration then was that the return of the Marcoses could dangerously impact on
the nation's peace and security. That impact is not imminent today.

Secondly, the several laws the petitioner have invoked to prevent the interment are not relevant to the LNMB.
The main opinion fully explains why this is so. I agree.

For instance, Republic Act No. 289, which all the petitioners except the petitioners in G.R. No. 226120 rely
upon, stipulated the establishment of the National Pantheon as the final resting place for former Presidents of
the Philippines, national heroes and patriots to perpetuate their memory as sources of inspiration and emulation
for the future generations. On the basis of this law, the petitioners concerned quickly assert that the remains of
the late President Marcos do not deserve to be interred in the LNMB because his gross human rights violations,
massive corruption and plunder of the government coffers, and other abuses during his regime rendered his
memory unworthy of perpetuation and because he could not be a source of inspiration and emulation for future
generations. Yet, the Solicitor General has clarified that the LNMB is not the National Pantheon referred to by
Republic Act No. 289. Indeed, Proclamation No. 431 (Reserving as Site for the Construction of the National
Pantheon a Certain Parcel ofLand Situated in Quezon City) would locate the National Pantheon in East Avenue,
Quezon City, but the establishment of the National Pantheon was later on discontinued. In contrast, the LNMB
is the former Republic Memorial as Cemetery expressly provided in Executive Order No. 77 (Transferring the
Remains of War Dead Interred at Bataan Memorial Cemetery, Bataan Province and at the Other Places in the
Philippines to the Republic Memorial Cemetery at Port WM MicKinley, Rizal Province). The Republic
Memorial Cemetery was reserved as the final resting place for the war dead of World War II, but President
Magsaysay renamed it to LNMB on October 27, 1954. The history of the LNMB refutes the petitioners' reliance
on Republic Act No. 289. Verily, the LNMB is not the same as the National Pantheon.

Republic Act No. 10368 has also been cited by the petitioners. This law recognizes the victims of Martial Law
and makes reparations for their sufferings by appropriating P10,000,000,000.00 as compensation for them. How
such law impacts on the interment of the remains of President Marcos has not been persuasively shown.

The petitioners have not laid out any legal foundation for directly testing the issuance of the challenged
executive issuances. They have not cited any specific provision of either the Constitution or other existing laws
that would expressly prohibit the interment in the LNMB of the remains of one like President Marcos.

And, thirdly, AFP Regulations G 161-375 lists those who are disqualified to have their remains interred in the
LNMB, to wit:

a. Personnel who were dishonorably separated/reverted/discharged from the service.


b. Authorized personnel who were convicted by final judgment of an offense involving moral turpitude.

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None of the disqualifications can apply to the late President Marcos. He had not been dishonorably separated or
discharged from military service, or convicted by final judgment of any offense involving moral turpitude. The
contention that he had been ousted from the Presidency by the 1986 People Power revolution was not the same
as being dishonorably discharged because the discharge must be from the military service. In contrast, and at the
risk of being redundant, I remind that he had been a two-term President of the Philippines, a Medal of Valor
awardee, a veteran of World War II, a former Senator and Senate President, and a former Congressman, by any
of which he was qualified to have his remains be interred in the LNMB.

Endnotes:

[1] G.R. No. 225973, G.R. No. 226117,and G.R. No. 226120 are petitions for certiorari and prohibition; G.R.
No. 225984 and G.R. No. 226097 are petitions for prohibition; and G.R. No. 226116 prays for the issuance of
the writs of mandamus and prohibition.

[2] Marcos v. Manglapus, G..R. No. 88211 September 15, 1989, 177 SCRA 668, 696.

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